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FORBES

July 9, 2020

What Solo Sunday Dates Taught Me About Self Care

“Melodee, look here. Do you like them?” she asks as she shows me the new pair of shoes that she bought from Foley’s. I smiled and nodded, because she loved beautiful, high-heeled shoes. That pair in particular was stunning and in her favorite color, red. I glanced at the price tag and gave her a look like “is this in the budget?” to which she replied, “sometimes you’ve gotta splurge” and she whispered that she had bought it on credit.

I was surprised by this because my mother was more “budget savvy” while my dad was more “spend happy”. Plus, my parents never used credit unless things were tight or we had an emergency. Cash, check, or debit only. Credit? Absolutely not. And for shoes? Never.

My parents were the definition of sacrifice. 

Mom worked as a social worker and Dad a school bus driver. And in addition to their careers they had side hustles — Mom owned a janitorial business and Dad started a church. 

I remember my Mom wanted us to attend a particular private school and negotiated with the principal to clean the school in exchange for us (my sister and I) to attend it. 

She gave so much of herself to everyone else that I don’t recall her showing love to herself—except for that moment she pulled out those shoes that she bought on credit. I’m sure there were more, heck, I hope there were more, but I don’t remember. 

My Mother died very young. 

When you lose someone you love at a young age (I was 23 when she died), it causes you to rethink your entire life, question your identity, and you have this strong desire to figure out why the heck you’re here so you can make an impact and do what matters. 

I’ve often reflected why women like my mother are great caregivers to others, but neglect themselves in the process. I think there are many reasons, one of which is the outdated idea that prizes and praises women who say yes to everyone else (selfless) while scolding women who tell everyone else no (selfish) while saying yes to themselves.

And that’s what solo Sunday dates have taught me about my own self care. There’s something about getting all dolled up, complimenting yourself on how cute you look, buying yourself flowers, taking yourself out on a date, listening to yourself, acknowledging how far you come, and desiring more for yourself that creates such a powerful, meaningful relationship with yourself that can’t be expressed in mere words.

I started taking myself out on a date on Sunday, because it was a suggestion from two mentors of mine. I read a book called, “Money, A Love Story” by Kate Northrup and she recommends having a money date with yourself and in the course, “Money Mentality Makeover” by Amanda Frances she advises having a sacred time where you honor and have a date with money. (Yes, I get that it sounds weird, I thought this at first, but once I started I haven’t looked back and it’s something I look forward to now) and it’s turned from an hour or so check-in to a full blown date day with myself. Initially my focus was money and it still is a theme, and I now plan my week on Sunday, and one of the questions (which you can read more about in my How I Plan My Day Using Week Agenda) I ask myself is what would feel nourishing for me this week? I dial in and listen to myself, my needs, my wants, my desires. 

You deserve attention. And when you get quiet and listen, you gain wisdom. 

Oftentimes, we value the opinion of others so much that we ignore and silence our own. We’re constantly being notified, buzzed, and marketed for our attention. “Omg. Did you hear this?” “Oh no. Did you see that?” “Girl. Did you watch…?” Noise. Noise. Noise.

It also not only gives wisdom, but understanding. Do you remember that scene in Runaway Bride where Ike Graham asks Maggie Carpenter how she liked her eggs? She didn’t even know, because she was so used to ordering whatever the guy she was with ordered. 

So much of who we think we are is shaped by the noise of someone else (i.e. society, religion, politics, social club, status, etc.) and we don’t know who we are, and what we actually like without the noise / pressure of what others think about it.

You deserve adoration. And you don’t have to wait for anyone else to give it to you, adorn yourself.

Every year on a holiday (like Valentine’s Day or a birthday) women all over the world get frustrated, or pissed because their significant other, lover, hubby, friend, child or whomever didn’t give them what they wanted (or secretly expected) on their special day. 

It usually happens where they don’t say what they want and expect others to be mind readers, and as a result, they act passive aggressive when they don’t get what they want.

There’s two problems with this mindset: 1) it puts so much pressure on another 2) waiting for someone else to celebrate yourself 1x or 2x a year will leave you at the whim of another’s actions.

When you begin to create a ritual of taking yourself out on a date, buying yourself flowers, or anything simple or extravagant that brings you pleasure and joy at least once a week. 

You’ll get used to being in RECEIVING MODE. 

Imagine that birthday week or month feeling–all year long?! 

You’ll treat yourself differently. 

You’ll talk to yourself respectfully.

You’ll say yes with quickness.

You’ll say no with quickness.

You’ll think about how that decision will impact you.

You’ll grow unapologetically in love with yourself.

Hi! I’m Melodee Forbes, and I help leaders declutter their calendar, so they can create more time for self care. I’d be happy to support you in decluttering your physical items and digital systems. You can start to create more self care by clicking here.

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