Real Talk | It's Not Selfish

Hey! If you follow me on the media-socials, and you should...get with it... I posted for the first time in a couple of weeks letting you guys know that I had a bunch of stuff going on, and the free time I had I was spending on taking care of myself instead of cranking out blog material. I wish I could say I was sorry, but I'm not in the least, because it finally dawned on me that taking care of myself isn't selfish at all. It's necessary. 

So let me tell you a little bit about that. 

Life these last few weeks has been managed chaos. Highs and lows, transitions, things ending and beginning... we all go through that and none of that makes me special. I like to refer to it as you make a plan and then the plan presents itself. You have to be flexible and adjust. 

I also think that no one makes a sustaining change in their life unless they get viscerally sick of their current circumstances, or a third party makes them change course. 

When I decided to go back to therapy, it was because I was viscerally sick of certain circumstances in my life and they needed to change. I can't keep going through life using achievement as a means of showing the world I'm ok and I can't white knuckle and will myself through something as a long term plan. I have to fix it piece by piece and build a strong foundation. 

For me, that's learning how to set new boundaries. I now make taking care of myself the first priority in my life. I have a 'no pain' policy for right now as things are in transition. My priorities are to get enough to eat, sleep, enjoyable exercise, interaction with loved ones... and then the other stuff. And honestly, even though I've had a ton of stuff (mostly very good) happen recently, it's keeping me in balance. Anything that brings me upset or pain gets a hard NOPE. 

This blog doesn't give me pain in the least. In fact, it gives me great joy, and I was so looking forward to having fun writing recaps and talking about some of these events going on in my life with you guys. Unfortunately, with the bridge collapse in Atlanta, my commute is about twice as long now, and there simply aren't enough hours in the day. When I get home, it's about 8pm, and I need to feed myself, spend time with my dogs, take a hot bath, and enjoy some outlets that aren't attached to any kind of pressure or expectation. I realized that even though it's been two years since this huge life change, I'm still healing. Last year was a throwaway because it was so fast and furious and I couldn't get enough traction to do anything but react. Now I have a clear head, feet on the ground, and I can adjust as I need to, make healing and moving forward a priority, and most importantly, be kind to myself. I've never been kind to myself before. It's taken me this long to realize that being the best at doing all the things doesn't get you a bigger medal at the end of the day. It just doesn't. 

If you get anything out of this, understand that it's not selfish to put taking care of yourself first. Yes, I could probably make a few more bucks a day blogging with the time I spend in the gym every night, but that time in the gym while I wait out traffic has been about reviewing the day... exerting frustration, and relearning how to enjoy fitness in a way that isn't punishing and painful. 

Don't get it twisted... being self centered makes you a selfish asshole, but putting up the boundary that you need some care isn't. If you need an hour in a quiet room at the end of the day to decompress... claim it. If you need to leave the building during your lunch hour to get some air and clarity... do it. If you need to take a break from toxic relationships and situations until you can find a way for them to be healthy or make yourself healthier... you have the right to that. 

I have been busy in April, and there have been some trials and amazingly wonderful moments, but I feel a calm and consistency I haven't felt in a long time. I want all of you who are reading this right now to know how much I appreciate all of you. You have been wonderfully supportive and I can't thank you enough. I am blessed with a lot of personal and virtual support and that makes me very grateful. 

Things should settle down here in a while and I'll be able to resume a more regular posting schedule. I just wanted to check in and let you know know that things are good, and I want you to take care of yourselves, too. 

Jennifer Gulbrandsen