After a week of messing about at bedtime and many warnings from me, my beautiful girl was crying on my lap. She was crying because she was so tired she didn’t know if she had the energy for her school trip. She looked up and said, ‘I didn’t take care of myself and now I will miss out on the fun bit.’

This comment got me thinking about all the times my friends and even I do the same thing. We focus on doing what keeps us ‘happy’ in the moment. We wear ourselves out doing the things that are not important and hope we can be in a good position to sort it out when it comes up. By the time we do, just like my daughter and getting some sleep, we find we have run out of time.

People stay in careers that they are miserable in, ignore their financial situation, and don’t look after their health because they feel that either ignoring it or bemoaning their situation will help. I learnt the hard way that this is far from true. I have a life I truly love now, but for 38 years, my life was an abusive nightmare. In a strange way I am now grateful for how bad it was because I was forced out of the nest. Living my life as it was became impossible and I had to find a new way. I had to find out what I desired and how to live my life to the full. Finally I was taking care of myself and I was free to enjoy the fun bit.

Are you looking after yourself?

Are you missing out on the fun, fulfilling parts of life by keeping yourself busy and distracted? It is not as easy as having a school trip booked and getting enough sleep as an adult. We are required to know what the fun bits look like and how to get them. So ask yourself these questions to get yourself started:

  1. How content are you with how you spend your days?
  2. Do you use distraction to fill your day?
  3. Do you keep yourself busy instead of working on what you truly desire?
  4. What is the main distractor you use?
  5. Where are you keeping yourself busy?
  6. Are you missing out on the fun bit of living a life you truly love?

Answering these questions, if answered honestly, will lead you to know where in your daily life you are selling yourself short.

I still check in with myself regularly to see if I have gone off track. I do this because I have worked hard to escape a life filled with abuse, and live a life I love to take for granted now.