Balancing out – Day 267

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.

Personal manifesto

I love myself, therefore I honour myself.


  1. Finding the balance between what others (husbands, inlaws, children, parents) want you to do and what you, yourself, want to do is not always easy. What I see is that women “get away with” doing what they want — especially when it comes to visiting with family or participating in community functions — far less often than men. When we do insist on making our own choices, we pay for it by having to deal with the resulting hostility and resentment from others. We’re called “selfish.” It isn’t fair or right and it pisses me off. When I cave in to the pressure and do what others want, especially when I really don’t want to, I don’t think much of myself. Can’t win!


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