I’ve been battling a pretty bad cold this last couple of weeks, hence my lack of posting recently. Thankfully, I’m almost back at 1oo% and I’m just dealing with the residual congestion that makes my voice sound deep and manly. Being out of commission for so long gave me time to think about a lot of things. Namely the importance of balance and how I tend to create problems for myself. I’ll explain.
Two Sundays ago, I had the privilege of attending my friend’s wedding. They asked me if I was willing to lend a hand and I said yes. I had several jobs assigned to me. Firstly, I helped set up chairs and decorations. Secondly, I was placed in charge of the kitchen. Thirdly, I was one of the door greeters. And fourthly, I helped tear down the decorations and clean up the kitchen. Yes, that is a lot of responsibility, but as it was a smaller wedding, and they had limited help, I agreed.
The schedule went something like this. We set up the chair covers and sashes for two hours on Saturday night. I got six hours of sleep and didn’t have time for a proper breakfast. I grabbed coffee, fruit, and a few granola bars and got to the venue for 8 am on Sunday. I helped set up decorations and tables and arranged food until 12 pm. I drove back to my place, threw on my dress, grabbed a banana, and drove back to the venue. I greeted people for an hour or so. I watched the ceremony, it went beautifully. I then spent the next half hour touching up decorations, placing food on tables, and making coffee and tea. I sat down for the toasts and first dance. Then spent the next couple of hours running back and forth between the kitchen, refilling the coffee and tea urns, and keeping the food stocked.
By 3 pm, I wasn’t feeling very well. The granola bars and fruit had long worn off and I was using more energy than I was taking in. Being both gluten free and lactose sensitive, the majority of the food was off limits. I indulged in the only thing I could eat: a huge plate of raw veggies and a few glasses of water. The headache kicked in around 5 pm and I felt nauseated and weak. At 6:30 we began tear down and I cleaned up the kitchen. By the time I headed home it was nearly 8 pm and I was beyond starving. Since my body was in such a weakened state, I wasn’t surprised when I woke up with a sore throat a couple of days later.
Getting sick was avoidable and completely my fault, and as such I’m not looking for sympathy. I did this to myself. You can’t destroy your body and expect to avoid the consequences. However, on a positive note, it was a learning experience. I realized I still cater too much to other’s needs at the expense of my own. Do I regret helping out? Of course not, I’m so happy I could help make their day extra special. But I was approaching it from the wrong perspective. There were things I should have done to make the experience easier on me, while still helping them out.
It all boils down to the fact that I still don’t have enough respect for myself. I put myself on a lower level of importance, beneath the wishes and desires of others. Its a wake up call and a reminder that I need to take time to ask myself how I’m feeling, to evaluate my energy level and my health, and act accordingly. Taking time to eat throughout the day is not selfish, its necessary for survival. Taking a 5 minute break to drink some water and eat a sandwich isn’t going to derail the whole process. I’ve made great strides in overcoming these things, but I tend to slip back into old habits when I’m under pressure. Its been a good reminder to take care of myself better, in any situation.
Have you had any similar experiences or realizations?
Image credit: “Pre-Wedding” by Jakrapong Kongmalai is licensed under CC by 2.0