Putting on the oxygen mask

Putting on the oxygen mask

Why is it that so many of us struggle to put ourselves first? Is it that we don’t think we’re important enough? Or is it the same way you’d never admit to liking something (anything) about yourself when you were at school, for fear of being called ‘up yourself’?

Whatever it is, I know I’m not alone when I say that I’m usually my own last priority. There’s even a saying for it… the burnt chop phenomenon, where the mum eats the burnt chop herself, leaving the best ones for her family.

When I was little my mum wore a blue and white reindeer jumper for years on end. At the time I thought nothing of it. It was kind of cool in the way that a blue and white reindeer jumper only could be in the eighties, so why not wear it to death?

It’s only now that I look back that I realise why she wore that jumper so often. Buying a new one would mean trading that money for something that would have gone towards my sister and me. The burnt chop indeed.

And while I don’t always share my mums dedication to putting my daughter first at the detriment of my online shopping habit, I do find that even simple things like visiting the doctor regularly, seeing the dentist or even just making the time for a walk, seem to go to the end of the list.

Logically I know it’s ridiculous. The whole “put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others” thing makes perfect sense. I know I can’t care for my family if I’m not in good health – physically or mentally.

But like a lot of things, logic doesn’t seem to come into it as often as it maybe should.

I recently had a little medical scare which saw me spending a week or two waiting on results. Which coincidentally was probably the longest week or two of my life. And I’m fine. I will be fine. It’s nothing serious, despite what Dr Google tried to convince me during the waiting period.

Speaking with friends, I know I’m not the only one who has found themselves in this position. Waiting on results, run down, tired and facing into a situation that probably could have been prevented (or at least minimised) with a little self care.

Today I went along to a fundraiser for the McGrath Foundation. While the event was lovely and hopefully raised a bunch of money for breast cancer nurses, it had a serious message. Check yourself. Check your breasts. Take time each month to perform this really little task, because if you don’t the consequences can be huge.

Maybe sometimes we need a little scare to take these things seriously. Maybe it takes a few times for us to hear whatever it is that the universe is trying to tell us.

Well, I’ve heard. And consider myself told. It’s time I put on my oxygen mask.

What about you? Is it time for a check up? A nap? Or even just a coffee by yourself at the local cafe?

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  1. Such true words!
    I’m glad you’ll be fine! And hope this strong message is heard & learned by you & all whose lives you touch! I go every year to a breast specialist as my mom passed away from breast cancer when I was 7. Little girls just shouldn’t grow up without their moms!!!
    Keep well! & keep putting that oxygen mask on first!

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