Saturday, March 23, 2019

Find Those Oxygen Masks

Image result for queer eye for the straight guy season three

Oxygen masks. I mean, I hate flying anyway. While optimistic by nature, typically, my flying self is a giant pessimist. I always assume we will be crashing. As soon as the lovely folks from Southwest get up and begin going through the safety lesson, I try to focus anywhere but on what they are saying. My particular brand of anxiety means that the more I think about the worst case scenario, the more I am absolutely convinced it will happen. So, since I already know how to exit out of the plane, that the seat can be used as a flotation device, etc., I choose to think of other thoughts.

One of their lines, however, has stuck with me, even though I try and forget it. You need to put on your oxygen mask first. This truth is one that I’ve only recently applied to my own life. For years I think I put the needs of my family, my students, my colleagues, far ahead of any of my own. I wrote about this at the end of the post HERE in a post from December of 2017 and why I began reading romance books. But this is something I’ve continued to think about. See, reading romance books, writing a romance book myself, have been my own little acts of rebellion. I truly don’t think of “my book” as something others will read one day. I mean, I do plan on publishing them, but these characters live in my head. Letting them out onto the page, it’s like I’m getting to watch them act out the scenes I’ve already dreamed up. Heading to Champaign to write each day over Spring Break has felt almost selfish, it is just for me. And yet, it has been wonderful.

Today I also continued putting on my oxygen mask. In December I decided that 2019 was the year I was actually going to take care of my skin. In doing this, I started getting regular facials. I love going to see Danielle every 6-8 weeks. This is no spa-like facial, but one where I laugh for over an hour straight. She has taught me more about my skin in the last eighteen weeks than I learned in the other forty-four years. I look forward to my trips to see her more than I should, but I’m always left wishing I could record our conversation. As I told her today, she’d make an absolutely kick-ass character in one of my books, but I fear I would never do her justice.

Tonight Chris and I sat and watched the first three episodes of season three of Queer Eye on Netflix. Each episode made me tear up. The people that were starring in each were sweet, kind, giving, and hadn’t put themselves first in years, if ever. They all needed to find their oxygen masks.

I would say this is a common issue for females, mothers, teachers, etc., but I think this can be a human problem. We don’t want to be selfish and there is only so much time in the day. However, if we don’t put on our masks, who will? I’m still not great at making myself a priority, but I’ve gotten a bit better. Step by step, I’m going to find my way. Wishing you well on your journey too.