Don’t Cancel On Yourself

It was 5:38 when I got The Call. I was already dressed, had my shoes on, Babysitter was arriving at 6:00. Dinner was in the oven, Bubs was using me as a climbing gym. I was ready, more than ready to buck outta there.

“I can’t do it,” My dear friend on the other side of the town, voice sighing through the phone. “I’m sorry. We gotta take a raincheck.”

“Ok. Sure. No problem.” It was a problem. It was my plans for an evening out, tossed out the window. See, I’m not one of those mamas who rejoice when good, self-healing plans get throw out the window. I’m not even that happy when distressing, obligatory plans get canceled. I’m not always the greatest at picking myself up and making my own plan. But I’m getting better. Observe:

Here’s my first plan for the evening. Cancel the babysitter. Feed the children. Put them in their bath, ignore the wails as I soap their hair. Wait for my Boyo to get home. Kiss them good night. Do the dishes. Try not to cry into the dishwater. Go upstairs. Cuddle my Boyo. Feel sorry for myself.

That was my first thought. But ladies, I’ve been going to therapy. Therapy + God’s Holy Word poured in on a daily basis = magic.

Here was what actually happened.

I served my kids dinner. I greeted the babysitter at the door. I told her when they should be in bed. You better believe, dear ladies, that I am NOT going to be home until long after that time.

I left. After all, my Boyo is out doing his thing. I left to do mine.

I bought an ill-advised and probably-returnable bathing suit at Target. Alone.

I went to Panda Express because no one else in my family likes it. I went to Starbucks to eat it, because even do not like eating in Panda Express. Plus, no outlets. I gave a spring roll to my neighbor,  a toothless homeless guy in a red beanie, and then I wrote this love-letter to myself.  I would like to share it with all of you because I believe it’s true for all of you too.

Dear Self,

Hi. I love you. I think about you all the time, but often not in the nicest of terms. I’m sorry. You don’t deserve that kind of meanness. You’re kind and good, and you do the best you can. And when you fail, Jesus loves you. I love you too, self. I think you’re great, creative, wise, and smart. You know so many facts! You write so many things! You are a story weaver, self (ok so that part is only true for me, but I’ll bet there are things you are good at too, reader).

Anyway, All this to say: Thank you, self, for this very nice date. The food was good, the company even better. I adore you, and I’ll try harder to show it more often.

‘Til next time,

Ori

Yep. I wrote that. I meant it too. I wrote it sitting next to a harmless old homeless guy who very much enjoyed that spring roll. I wrote it hoping that my babies weren’t giving babysitter too much trouble, and that my Boyo would come home late enough that they would both be in bed so he could relax too.

I did what I could to make it okay for everyone else, and then I didn’t cancel my babysitter. I took myself on a date. It was so. so. good.

I hope you all can do the same.

If you had a free evening, and 20 bucks, where would you spend it?

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Ori is a wife and mother, and a writer of the amateur bent. She has written two books so far and is hard at work on her third, in between wrangling kiddos and musing about motherhood in general.

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