Put on Your Parachute First, Really

November 4, 2022 ◊ By Julie Bockarie ◊ Personal Development

Put on Your Parachute First, Really

I had my Friday all planned out, cancelled some appointments, rescheduled key ones, and got ready to focus on me.  Knowing that my daughter had no school today, I wrapped the warm blanket around me, ready to enjoy my “me” time, finally!

“Mom, I have to be in school today.”  “Today?!”, I exclaimed.  “But today is Friday.  You are not supposed to be in school today.”  “I scheduled myself to help out in our school’s volunteer program.”  “What?! I exclaimed again.  Then got into gear.  “Okay, hurry up and get ready, or else your volunteer program would clash into my well-planned schedule."  No time to chastise her for not telling me, at least last night. “Muttering a “give me grace prayer”, I breathed, "someday it would be my time, my turn."  “Put my parachute on first?” I wondered silently.  “How? What does that mean?”

How many can relate to this?  I bet many of you can.  You have to have your dental work done because you are in pain, but you call the office to reschedule, yet again, because you have no time.  Your time is fully committed to serving your loved ones.  You look at the brown envelope with referral for your appointment, and a pang of guilt hits.  That only lasts for a moment because you have to get back to business-other people’s business.

Have you ever stopped to think about why you do what you do, the way you do them?  I love my family, and they love me.  Incredibly, they worry about me, and wonder why I don’t take care of myself, and why I worry about everyone else.

The scene described above happens, but on rare occasions, as I have been drumming into the ears of my daughter to ensure that I know what is up ahead of time.  How about the phone calls we jump to answer, even when we know that they might not be urgent; or your schedule you set aside to work on other people’s “important” matters?  What happened to the idea of putting on your “parachute” first, before you help others put theirs on?

The problem is that we have committed ourselves to other people’s emergencies and subjected ourselves to their judgment when we do not respond the way they want us to respond.

Really, take time to put your parachute on first.  Your loved ones worry about you too, and do not want you to get sick.  You also most certainly cannot give what you do not have.

I believe that there’s a lot we can learn from our young people.  My daughter told me a story of a mother who wondered if her son would fight a bully for her.  When she posed the question to her son, he quickly responded, “no mom, but I love you.” How about that!

I am not advocating for parents, especially moms to be selfish, nor for women to ignore their responsibilities.  I am saying though, “remember to take care of yourself, so you can better take care of your loved ones and others you care about”.  In some ways, not taking care of yourself is doing them a disfavor.

Many women suffer from guilt when it comes to taking care of themselves or doing things that bring them pleasure.  Sometimes they get paralyzed when they are not taking care of others, feeling like fish out of water, wondering, “what now?”  This is where the help of a coach becomes necessary.  A coach would listen to you, and help you explore ways to gain confidence to say, “sorry, this is now, time for me."

Are you struggling to put yourself on the agenda, or to put on the proverbial parachute first on yourself?  Book a call today?

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