I’ve had a nice evening. My good buddy popped in to share a joint with me, which set the stage for me to really nail what’d been mulling around in the back of my mind for a good deal of my day. There comes a time for most of us, and it’s not a one-time occurrence, but something that crops up repeatedly over the decades, when we remember something we’ve been forgetting: Ourselves.
It’s a little after midnight and my neighbour might be getting pissed at me. I’m sitting here at my big-assed writing desk, my stained lamp burning next to me, and my iPOD roaring the Stone Roses’ rock/love anthem “Good Times,” and I’m roaring right along with it, rocking my little white ass on off.
Where did our sweet love go? Who stole away our time?
Why do the stars above refuse to shine?
The harder I try to paint a picture of the way it was back then
The more I miss the good times, baby, let it roll again
Good times baby, this is the time
I need to know that your love is mine
Love me up, yeah, reel me in
I’m hooked, line and sinker, she’s my heroin
My night? Comprised of some gorgeous bruschetta I made myself with artisan bread, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and so forth. Oh, and copious garlic. I mean, shit, some days are made for pretending you’re single: Garlic! But I kindly shared this feast with GayBoy. A little quid bud quo, if you know what I mean. Munchies, baby.
After that, some porn on TV. (I mean the food channel. Oh, orgasmic.) Then, some cleaning, some reading, a salty bath, some music, some stretching, and more. It was all me, all night.
I go through these phases when I neglect myself. Usually, it’s just life getting too stressed and I get too scattered as a result. Sometimes, though, I’m just too goddamned nice for my own good. Now, I do these rants against the religious right, and I mean every fucking word I say, but let’s not forget that I was once a member of that same religious right. I was an extreme Catholic. If religion is a sport, I was a skydiver.
I wanted to be a nun, knew all the songs to the Sound of Music, and so on. I was a preacher kid even when I was 8. The kids would gather ‘round me on Gordie’s front stoop and I’d regale them with Christ’s antics for that week. “And then Judas betrayed him!” [insert atheist neighbourhood kids’ gasps here] I may not be religious anymore (since my mid-teens), but I’m pretty damned value-centred.
I live according to my principles, my virtue, my methods. I don’t care whose morals I’m supporting or flaunting or mocking in the way I live, it’s about ensuring I’m living up to my own creed and satisfying my own demands of myself. When it comes to helping people who can use a little kindness, I try to do it. When it’s family, friends, or lovers who are in need of attention, I put them first for a little while – like we all should. So, when boyfriend busted his drumstick, I made him a priority for a bit, and that’s cool, it’s great. I’m pleased with my behaviour, and I’m satisfied I made his first three or so hellish weeks more pleasant, and that’s what it’s all about. It gets me to sleep at night. He’s through the dark patch, and now I’m taking a little more time for me, and intend to continue that. He’ll benefit because I’ll be at my best when we get together now, and that, too, is what it’s all about. All self-love means is making sure I spend an hour or so doting on myself when I can, really.
And we all forget how easy (and important) it is to do this – a little extra self-love fills the gaps when the big ol’ world forgets to show us the love. And god knows it’s gonna, sooner or later, and we ought to be at our best when it does.
Life’s hard enough to get through without forgetting about yourself. The thing we all need to remember is that lifelong vows and friendships and family are great, but the only person we’re absolutely sure is going to be in our lives until our dying days is ourselves.
The less we take care of ourselves, the more we resent our obligations to others. It’s about balance, ballast, ballet, whatever the hell you want to call it. It’s a dance of distribution, and you can’t neglect yourself in the performance.
It’s something I need to remind myself of from time to time. I didn’t “forget” myself these past few weeks – I just minimized myself for the time being, put me on pause. And that’s fine. Some weeks, that’s the way it goes.
This ain’t that week, baby. I’m unpausing. I’ll still dote on my guy, ‘cos he’s my guy and all, but just a little bit less than I was, that’s all. Balance, baby. It’s a struggle.