But this time, I read it in a different context. There it was on a blog I follow religiously as a metaphor for a mother taking care of herself.
It really resonated with me, and over and over in my head I kept repeating it: "Put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else".
Makes a lot of sense doesn't it? But do I generally do this? No.*
It's good timing to have this little mantra on repeat, since I have vowed that 2012 is the year to finally take better care of myself. Ever since the big C - no not C(erebral Palsy), I'm talking C(ancer) - I have been evaluating things, in particular, the toll stress takes on my life and how it is affecting me mentally and physically. So in order to reduce stress and increase happiness, I'm making moves to have some me time.
Baby steps (funny analogy to use in this house since no babies are actually stepping): A yoga class here and there, walks, outings with friends. Little things to give me a temporary break from my own head and the insanity that resides there.
Ok no, I'm not insane. Nor am I clinically depressed or riddled with any more anxiety than normal. I'm not even unhappy, per se. But I am certainly not at my optimum.
And I'm trying not to complain - it's ok that things are hard sometimes and I know I'm by no means trying to be super mom. Life is hard for all of us. But I know that if I'm going to do anything more than just get by, I need to start taking a break to top up the reserves. Thankfully, I have some special people in my life who have thus far forced those breaks on me - who steal me out for a quick coffee or who have the guts to call and say "You didn't look/sound so great today, is everything ok?".
*Don't worry. If our plane was ever going down I would follow instructions. Although I would probably be the hysterical passenger the stewardess would need to slap, so maybe not.