You can’t help others if you don’t help yourself…

Yesterday turned into another whirlwind day.

This time Lynn and I were both up and out early, taking our bookstore to the pop-up market in Stettler, hosted by the Central Alberta Business Centre. The market was good, but it was a long day, made even longer by the fact that once we finished there we came straight back to Castor to our church’s annual Christmas Banquet.

We had an excellent meal catered by one of our church members, and in general had a great time of song and fellowship. I’m glad we went, but I was definitely tired out by the time we got home. All the activity made for a long day.

I’m tolerating the activity better than I used to be able to, but I’m definitely starting to feel the too many late nights and early mornings. I have one more day of activity, then tomorrow I am going to lay low and recharge my batteries.

Aside from the fatigue, I’m feeling good. I’m attributing a large part of that to the fact that I have been taking the self-care I need. The fact is, I’ve been under some extra stress for awhile, with Lynn’s ongoing medical concerns in addition to work, school, and the other vagarities of life. If I didn’t make looking after myself a priority, I flatly would not be in a position to help Lynn through what she is going through.

What it comes down to is I can’t pour from an empty cup. I can’t share strength when I’ve expended more than I’ve replenished. It doesn’t matter what descriptor someone uses, the result is the same.

I know I’ve been bad over the years of meeting everyone else’s needs first and putting myself last. It comes from having a people pleasing personality. The problem is, if you do for others without looking for yourself, the world we live in today will use you up until there is nothing left, and then abandon you when you are no longer useful. It’s been a struggle to learn how to put myself first sometimes. It’s been a struggle to find that balance between helping others and helping myself.

What I’ve started realizing is that you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself, and that has been part of what’s been carrying me through, despite the stress. I know that the workload I’ve carried for the last few weeks is not maintainable by any stretch of the imagination, that’s why it’s time to slow down, catch my breath, and refill my energies.


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