My Self Care Strory

Funmi
Posted March 2, 2017 from Nigeria
Me at the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Once upon a time, there was a cobbler who was very busy.

He lived in a large village and was the only cobbler in town, so he was responsible for repairing the boots of everybody else.

However, he didn’t have time to repair his own boots.

This wasn’t a problem at first, but over time, his boots began to deteriorate and fall apart.

While he worked feverishly on the boots of everyone else, his feet got blisters and he started to limp.

His customers started to worry about him, but he reassured them that everything was OK.

However, after a few years, the cobbler’s feet were so injured that he could no longer work and no-one’s boots got repaired.

As a consequence, soon the entire town started to limp in pain, all because the cobbler never took the time to repair his own boots - The Cobblers; from the better life blog.

This is what happens when we don't take out time, to care for ourselves. we become even useless to the people we were supposed to help, we then become a burden on others instead of being an asset. There's a saying in my language that you use your inner strength to carry yourself and others. You can't offer what you don't have. This is why i decided to go back to school after (15) fifteen years of break from academics. I can tell you this decision was not taken lightly. I don't want to suddenly wake up one day to discover that life has passed me by. I found that if I don’t look after myself, after a while I will be no good to anyone else either. My best intentions will mean nothing and i will be unable to do what I’m meant to do.

Many times as women, we tend to procrastinate or try to suppress our desires to better our life which will in turn be a source of pride for everyone around us. For me; self care means taking difficult decisions, doing those things that are beneficial to me that might not be convenient for everybody but we all try to make it work. It means having difficult and at other times; it means painful conversations and most importantly it means asking for help.

Going back to school for a mother with little children can be emotional, stressful and might come with guilt feelings because of the time you might not be able to have with the kids. For me, I almost backed out of starting my Masters degree program, that's after completing my registration and paying the school fees. I discovered the timing had been changed from what I use to know. I was overwhelmed thinking of how to juggle the home front and school work. At first, my husband also was finding it difficult to to adjust but we later agreed to have someone else pick the children from school because I wasn't shy to discuss how much this means to me; and whenever he's off from work he can assist. Also, I settled in my mind;the fact that I might not be able to attend all the classes every day.

For me, am returning to school because my education is important to me, I want to increase my chances of success, I want to be happy, to be financially independent and also to inspire my daughters to do and be more. Not doing the things that we truly desire can lead to self pity, low self esteem and can lead to anger towards the people around us even our loved ones and when we live like this we can't offer the best care to the people we really want to care for. We then live a life of regret, of had I known…., I could have…., I should have..., we have to able to live above other people's judgment because the same people we are thinking might judge us, are actually waiting for us to make the move and we will be surprised at how supportive and understanding they might be and if they are not, it's up to us to give ourselves a chance to live. Like someone said “where there’s a will, there’s always a way”. Self care means balance, it is our personal responsibility, it is not a reward but for the greater good of all. We are each personally responsible for the outcome of our lives. Enjoy it and live fulfilled.

This story was submitted in response to Self-Care.

Comments 8

Log in or register to post comments
Jill Langhus
Mar 02, 2017
Mar 02, 2017

You go, girl!!! Be the change...

Rahmana Karuna
Mar 03, 2017
Mar 03, 2017

Dearest funmi,

yes, a balance between work and rest. as i tell my new moms with newborns, eat first then feed your baby, sleep when your baby sleeps. just as we need to love ourselves to love others, it is necessary to care for ourselves before we can care for others. Care, NOT rescue as if they are victims, as we all have our own angels. love and blessings on your path of self care so as to spread yourself courageously and enthusiasm, gained from time spent at ease.

Funmi
Mar 03, 2017
Mar 03, 2017

Thank you Rahmana

Heather Ley
Mar 08, 2017
Mar 08, 2017

Dear Funmi,

I really enjoy your creative writing style, starting with the parable story of the cobbler! You know how to use imagery to help make your point very strong! I could not agree more with your views on the importance of self-care. It is hard for me at times to put my needs first but it is valuable to learn through you that if I don't, I could negatively impact the greater good I seek to bring about! Congratulations on going back to school! So excited for you! What will you be studying? After making the choice to go back to school in 2014 after working for three years, it was challenging but so incredibly rewarding! I am so much better off because of it. I can offer even more through my job now from my new knowledge and experience! I wish you the same success and growth!

Carrie Lee
Mar 09, 2017
Mar 09, 2017

Hi Funmi, your story feels very familiar to me.  I still sometimes struggle to make the best decision for myself when I know it will be inconvenient for my family.  Thank you for sharing your story- it is so relatable. And I love the story of the cobbler! 

Hugs,

Carrie

JulieG
Mar 09, 2017
Mar 09, 2017

Dear Funmi,

I also love the parable.  It's such a warm way to share an important lesson.  Congratulations on your brave decision to further yourself and take care of your needs by returning to school.   I really love what you said about self care not being a reward, but for the greater good of all.  Keep your light shining so others will shine, too!

Tamarack Verrall
Mar 13, 2017
Mar 13, 2017

Dear Funmi,

Your description of all of the reasons why doing what we need to for ourselves and the difficulty in doing this, especially with young children to consider, is so well put, especially with the parable you begin with, but also because of your honest and open writing about your personal experience. Thanks for the important reminder. It hit home.

In sisterhood,

Tam

Austina
Apr 03, 2017
Apr 03, 2017

Dear Funmi,

I stand with you. Glad you found your balance. I am on a journey towards finding mine too.

Blessings