I have this thing that I do when I'm super stressed out, which is to want to wait on other people. I guess that there's a part of my brain that has worked out this theory that if I'm concerning myself with delivering what other people want or need, then I can stop thinking about myself and the things that are eating my soul.
It sort of works. I am able to make the people around me happy. "Here, have some nice pens! Here, have something fun for your desk! Here, let me fetch you foods and beverages! I'll buy your lunch! I'll clean your fishbowl!"
Making other people happy makes me happy. So it should be a win-win.
Except when it's not.
The problem with burying your feelings under a giant pile of concern about how everyone else is feeling is this: your feelings are not gone. They're just covered up with a pile of other people's needs. It's like ... if you put a shoe under a pile of sweaters, the shoe still exists. It's still THERE. You're just not looking at it.
(Why you would put a shoe at the bottom of a pile of sweaters is anyone's guess. But you get my point.)
The more stressed and sad and tired I get, the harder I try to be the person other people need to have around until eventually, there is too much stressed and sad and tired to bury and then I fall apart.
I've lately been a little fall-apart-y.
Tonight, when I got home, I thought, "Damn, I've gotta make dinner." I didn't want to. I once again lamented the fact that house elves aren't really a thing and I don't have one.
Then I thought, "I'm going to make chili though. And The Fella likes chili. That will be good. He deserves a good dinner."
And then, out of nowhere I thought, "Wait.
So do I."
I deserve a nice dinner. I deserve to take the time to cook it -- because I enjoy cooking, longing for a house elf notwithstanding. I deserve to eat well made food.
I also deserve to put myself a little more forward. I don't have to be first all of the time. But I deserve to be on my freaking list. I deserve to do small things that make me happy. I deserve nice pens! And fun things for my desk!
And to pay attention to the things that are eating my soul and to be gentle with myself as I detach their angry gnawing teeth from my psyche.
I deserve to show myself the love and care that I am determined to show other people.
You deserve it, too.