There was a time when I was working six days a week, taking advantage of every overtime, wether mandatory or not. I know that would mean my laundry would pile up and my kids would miss me more. I even asked my mom during those few times I visited her if I am beginning to be materialistic or too ambitious for my own good. I felt like when people look me through my eyes, they would see the peso or dollar sign in them. "No, " you are not being materialistic nor too ambitious for that matter. You have been a stay at home mom for a while. Now that you had started to earn your own money and learned that you can provide, you want to earn more because you know that money would go to more important things. You are just trying to catch up. "
That somehow lessen the guilt that started to gnaw inside me for not spending much time with my kids. They were still young then. And I know when the right time comes , I will make it up to them.
I just never thought that I will be on the receiving end when that happens.
My eldest daughter , Sam, had been very busy with her thesis lately. She had been spending her evenings for almost a whole week at her classmates' place because their defense will be by the end of the month. She literally became a stranger to all of us, just coming over to get some clothes and to see her siblings. She suddenly became a daily visitor to her own home. We only get to keep in touch through text and through Facebook.com. I bought her a Frank Sinatra compact disk which was on sale, because she happened to love the standards. I also had planned on giving all of them a treat this weekend, only for me to learn she will not be able to make it. She did thank me for the gift, and she had relayed this through text.
I have to admit, that I miss those days when my kids and I would hang out and just simply talk about anything under the sun. Now that all of them had grown up and became very busy with school, it seems the only time I get to talk to them and have a discussion is when they ask for some extra allowance to finish certain reports, attend a seminar or a field trip requirement. Sometimes there are even shouting matches and teary explanations in between. At times, I am almost to that point of giving up, because the last thing that I wanted was to end my day on a negative note with my kids. Such negative reactions stay in one owns psyche the whole day, worst, even affects one's sleep until it is time to go to work, only to realize it has not left you. And one tries his best to shake it off or else, one will be all over the place.
It is very easy for us to loose ourselves, in our relationships, in our business, in our work. We feel that we always have this ample supply of energy to give, not knowing that we are slowly depleting bit by bit. There are signs but we chose to ignore them if that would mean more money to pay for one's bills, for your kids' education and perhaps a long overdue vacation. And sadly, when we do find the time to reward ourselves, that energy almost left us that we just rather hit the sack and catch up on sleeping instead.
I had been guilty on all these. The text I received the other night was followed by a similar one. Both came from hardworking people who do not have kids yet but rarely have time for themselves. Not that they do not know their real worth, but had too often forgotten to treat themselves. It was a light bulb moment that made me think of how I have been treating myself lately, of certain days how I would push myself to go to work because that was expected of me. Of dreading the weekend to come so I could at least sleep regularly and spend some time with myself. In a way, we should always think of ourselves as gifts, that should be taken cared of and treasured, wrapped or unwrapped. Our self proclaimed financial independence or our longing to be with someone who is, may mask who we truly are, but it would help from time to time to remember to treat ourselves, kindly. It is the only way we could give back, without forgetting who we are.
Below is a video of one of my favorite songs. I just want to share it with you and hope you find time to ponder on it.
And I hope you like it too.
(The song "The Greatest Gift " was composed by the Academy Award Winner Henry Mancini whose compositions include, "Moon River, " " Two for the Road " and "The Days of Wine and Roses." He also composed the theme song for the movies "Rocky, " and "The Pink Panther." Credits also go to youtube.com for the video.)