Saturday, 20 August 2011

Pampering Ourselves

I haven't celebrated my birthday since my daughter's birth. Between the kid, eHomemakers, other family members and helping others, there is never time for Me.  I am lucky if I get eight hour of sleep daily.

"You must pamper yourself with women's stuff, treat yourself once in a while, do something nice for yourself especially for your own birthday even if no one else remembers it," advises a single mom friend who went through a hard time and is now loving every moment of her life. "Remember, no one loves you if you don't love yourself!"

This advice was given at least eight years ago, but my mind wasn't registering it. There was always some other priorities- cleaning the house, going out to pay the bills, calling the plumber or the electrician, cooking special foods for freinds, sending my book to someone because I promised the gift for several months -- and time flew REALLY like an arrow. Zoom, Saturdays turms into Sundays which turned into Fridays so fast so so fast that sometimes at night before I fell asleep, I asked myself, "Why am I so buzy?"

A friend pointed out that the kind of "I don't have time" syndrome is comon among women. We women like to 'sacrifice' ourselves for others especially for family members. We do things for them instead of letting them do things for themselves or we go all out to find things to do for them thinking that they will be happy with the things we give to them instead of letting them be who they are without the things we think will make them happy.

Are we sacrificing ourselves for others or are we just very responsible people who put others before us? 
Are women like us 'OK' or 'NOT OK' in today's world?

With this question in my mind, I began to look at the five women in this project in a different light. The light shed on Siew Lian. Is she sacrificing herself too much for SLE Association? See the way she answers her handphone non-stop, sees the way she rushes from one thing to another?

May be she needs to slow down for her health. I decided.

So I managed to get us all a birthdaty gift --  a spa at Gnile Beauty, make-up and hair do and a nice buffet dinner at Crown Plaza Hotel in KL.  Siew Lian thanked me, she didn't have any time for such gift and she told me to give the opportunity for other less fortunate women.  "The spa will relax you and give you more energy, you don't have to help Lupus patient every day. Give yourself one day for you!" I was trying all ways to convince her including how the Mexican hot stone massage will relax her neck muscles.

 "My Lupus is in remission, it doesn't mean I should be treated like a sick person by you! I am fit and active, so why shouldn't I do what I can for Lupus patients?"

I was about to give up on this 'pampering ourselves' idea when Louise called about the good news -- Siew Lian would come with us!! Magic!!!

(Videos of dinner)
The soothing music with rhythmic percussion flooded softly into the masaage room where I was laying. Time danced with the music.

I stood in the desert, a mile from the Grand Pyramid of Giza,looking out at the vast expanse of sandy ocean that touched the horizon at the far end. My senses were alert- smell, touch, sight. Those were some moments that took my breath away.

My breaths were even as I laid relaxed with two hot stones on my neck. Desert in my mind, music in my ears. Someone once said to me, "Life is not about who you have in relationships, it is about how you build them and how much you care till the end."

Is Siew Lian sacrificing herself for others or she is doing as much as she can because she doesn't know if her Lupus may come back to her? And Lucy is doing the same thing because she wants to care as much as she has the time?   


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