I balanced out my unadulterated pleasure seeking by turning up at my in-law’s at 1pm for Sunday lunch. It meant getting up early and forgoing breakfast with my friends, but I appreciate that my husband does a lot for/with my family so it is only fair that I do my duty.
I keep reading though, that we shouldn’t do things through a sense of ‘duty’ – we should honour ourselves and only do the things we want to. I struggle with that. I can see the benefits of leading an utterly selfish life, but aren’t there times when we have to put others first?
How would it be if I told my husband that I found visits to his family stressful due to the underlying tension? It also pains me to see his father vegetating in a state of late Alzheimer’s. Why would I want to spend my Saturday there when I could be out walking, ballet dancing, writing, sleeping…etc?
Yet, I could tell that the visit lifted my poor, tired mother-in-law’s spirits. She is a carer in her mid-eighties and let me tell you, that’s not a bundle of laughs. It was also important for my husband that I went. All in all then, it seemed the right thing to do, but it did leave me with tension in my shoulders and a burgeoning headache.
I haven’t worked out the whole duty versus honouring yourself thing, but I can see it is an area I could work on. I did slide into a heavily scented hot bath when I got home and then lay down for a rejuvenating conscious resting session, which was interrupted by my husband.
The truth is, I am not a single, free spirit. I have a husband, children and ailing parents. I cannot flit around around and do as I please. I think it is a question of balance and as I am spending today at a ballet class followed by a three-hour creative writing class, I think I am in credit on the pleasure seeking front.
I love myself, therefore I honour myself.