Lately I’ve been working longer hours than usual. Part of it has been to compensate for time spent at the hospital to support my loved one with cancer and other family obligations. A lot of people count on me to be their rock. I try my best not to neglect those I care about. But in doing this and trying to get my writing done, I’ve been neglecting me!

When being kind and helpful to others, it’s important to give enough to YOU!

I realized I’ve been automatically passing on getting together with friends when I have free time so I can catch up on my work. I do need to catch up but I can’t sacrifice all my playtime! Doing that mimics my behavior when I was a DoorMat and I don’t intend to return to that mentality! That’s why being conscious of your behavior is so important. It’s normal to get onto auto-pilot when you’re busy and trying to fit all your obligations in.

We often do things by rote—out of habit—without realizing that we’re hurting ourselves. Pay attention!

The other day a friend called to invite me to a special event. He’s a TV producer and was going to an evening with the cast, writers, and other people from the award-winning TV show, Damages. My first inclination was to say “no.” It was my only free night. I planned to stay home and write. But I caught myself. I needed some fun! I haven’t had much lately. So I took a deep breath, pushed away all the reasons I shouldn’t go, and accepted the invitation.

Making plans to do something fun can get you smiling. It sure did for me. that’s healthier than passing on fun to get more work done.

Once I knew I was going, I looked forward to it. I always enjoy spending time with a friend. The event began at 7. When he asked if I could meet him at 6 so we could be early and get good seats, I hesitated. That meant leaving at 5:30 and would cut out some of my work time beforehand. But I caught myself and said yes. It was empty when we arrived. Had I not been conscious, I might have been upset that it wasn’t necessary to arrive so early.

I could have gotten more done. But instead, I enjoyed my conversation with a friend. And we ended up sitting in the center of the first row!

The discussion was fascinating. Ted Danson and Glenn Close were literally right in front of me. I’ve met many celebs so I wasn’t star struck by them but it was FUN. I could see the twinkle in Danson’s eyes when he told jokes. Seeing Glenn Close like that was a special trip for me. When the movie Fatal Attraction came out, I got stopped all the time and told I looked like a dark haired version of her in that film. My hair was curly like hers was in the film back then. Kids would come up to me and say I looked like the lady with the knife. I heard it hundreds of times but couldn’t see the resemblance.

Until now. I saw it—just a little—in her profile. As she spoke, I noticed a bit of a similarity. It’s more in the shape of our faces than our features. Not enough to merit all the comparisons in my opinion, but of course that was years ago. It was FUN to see her and try to find some resemblance. And FUN to be out and go for a bite after at an outdoor café. I can get lost in my work. I’m glad I realized how much I needed to play!

Playtime is important, even for adults. We can get caught up in obligations and forget to have FUN.

People Pleasers make that a lifestyle. Everything revolves around others when you live in DoorMatville. But it’s not hard to change with consciousness and desire. Pay attention to how much you give. Then think about how much playtime you take. If you can’t remember when you last had some or you only need one hand to count all the recent FUN times, make some plans to play!

I’m making a more conscious effort to include downtime and playtime in my schedule. Make that effort too! Life is too short to not enjoy it.

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