My paternal grandmother was a master of self-indulgence and womanly arts. Each year, on my grandfather’s birthday, she would buy herself a new dress, “So he can enjoy looking at me.”
My grandmother managed to travel all over the world, despite limited means. My husband recalls her delight as she told him in heavily-accented English, “Mahyke. I go lots of places. Rome. Fatima. Mayami, every winter. I go Hawaii, tree time. I go Aruba. They have divi divi tree. ”
Her hair was always done and she was always carefully dressed. In her last years in a nursing home, she was known as Queen Irene.
It took me almost 40 years to appreciate her gift for honoring herself. Before that, I had considered her focus on appearances and travels shallow and frivolous. Now, I know that self-care, self-confidence, and self-love are not indulgences, but a necessary foundation for being able to do our work in the world. The most important aspect of my life work, at the moment, is caring for my children. When I nourish my body, soul, and spirit, my children have a much better mother.
From Me, To Me
In the midst of the holiday season, consider doing something nice for yourself. Linger in your favorite store, or avoid the stores and sit down for a cup of tea with a friend. Savor a good book, or give yourself permission to take a nap.
Consider giving yourself a gift that will keep on giving throughout the year. May I suggest the gift of camaraderie, support, and tools for easier living for mothers who want to see the best in their children?
My book, Swan Mothers, is available in paperback or Kindle formats. You can read the first chapter for free via Amazon’s sample.