A post from last year to help us all gear up for fall. Time for your checkup!
It’s back to school time, and although that might mean no more to you or me than lots of teenagers crowded on rush hour public transportation, fall does signal a new start. And it’s free of that New Year’s pressure to have a date.
All those kids you see not giving up their seats for any old ladies, much less you in your summer to fall transitional pumps? They are getting a chance to do something different.
How about you? With just four months left in the year, it might be time for a check-up.
Women often take care of other people and give ourselves the ultra short end of the stick. We’re fine as long as we’re getting up and working, seeing a friend now and then, and able to remember the last time we went out on a date.
But how satisfied are you?
And are you neglecting your better self simply because you haven’t bothered to ask, how am I doing?
See how you fare with these ten check-ups and check-ins every single woman needs.
Let’s start with the obvious. How’s your body doing? Tired? Gained a few pounds? Knees creaking? Go get your annual physical and see what your doctor can tell you. Then, listen to what you can learn on your own. When does your body feel at its best? When does it feel at its worst? Try to find one or two things to increase in your life from the answer to the first one: more quinoa and more meditation. And, try to find one or two things to decrease from the second question: less staying up late watching old sitcoms and even just one less fried chicken wing.
Of course begin with a pap, even when they switch the rules up on us about how often we should get them. But, don’t stop there. Get the pap and while you’re there ask for a full STI screening. Yes, everything, even the ones you’re insurance is iffy abut covering. Clean bill of health? Great. Then, really ask yourself some questions. How satisfied am I with my sex life? And you have a sex life even if that’s only between you and your special battery operated friend. Love your sex life (whether it’s in a relationship, with some electronics, or doesn’t exist because you’re celibate)? Fantastic. If you aren’t loving your sex life, what could you do to make it better? Express your desires? Accept your every curve to begin feeling sexier? Find better toys? Dump that selfish lover? Get to it.
Even a good job with good benefits can have suspect dental coverage. Don’t let the insurance companies win by paving the way for dentures before you hit 50. Floss, floss, and floss some more (or maybe not since dentists aren’t sure it makes a difference). Brush in circles, gum to tooth. Then, schedule a dental check up every six months. Some studies have shown that infected teeth can lead to heart disease, and besides the clean lick-your-tongue-over-your-teeth-feeling after a dental visit is a bonus.
A couple of years ago, I convinced myself that if I could just contain my sadness to crying in the shower each day, the day had been pretty good. Until a wise friend said, “Maybe you should go see somebody about that.” Too true. So, how do you feel? I mean how do you feel when you’re not pretending for your family or your friends? How do you feel when you don’t pretend to yourself? Sit with all those emotions and then figure out, is this a moment that will pass? Is this a couple of days that require reality television and do not disturb on your cell? Or have those feelings been sitting there for longer than you want to admit? Take that last answer, if needed, and feel no shame about sharing it with a professional.
How’s the bank account looking? And the four credit cards? And the non-existent savings? If you answered: Great. I only have two that are fully paid off. Non-existent? Ha! Then, you can move on to the next check-up. For the rest of us, let’s make a plan. Can you pay more down on your credit cards? Can you put anything, something, away in your savings? And can you stop yourself from buying a new pair of shoes to save for the business you want to start? Or the house you want to buy? Take a look at your bank account and see if it’s representing the kind of healthy life you want to be living.
Do you enjoy getting up every morning and getting to work, in your home or out? If you lay in bed thinking that telling your boss you can’t come in because your apartment burned down is kind of believable, I understand. I’ve been there. Sometimes we have to sacrifice our comfort for a time to get to the life we want and sometimes, your misery should no longer be managed. If you hate the work you do, start remembering or considering what you would love. Make a list of your ideal work environment and start plotting on working there in a realistic timeframe.
Most of us can’t strike runway style every day, but more days than not are you strutting down the street loving your look? Or is it more an inner monologue about wishing you hadn’t worn those pants that are too small for you, again? My best fashion days are always because I’ve put more thought into my look. So, put some thought into your overall look: what pieces do you love? What pieces do you never wear? Could you use a haircut? A hairdresser? Is your makeup a shade too light? Too dark? What’s missing from your wardrobe that could help transform it? Whatever it is, get to stalking.
You can tell me: when was the last time you went on a date? That by itself isn’t the check-in. We all have dry spells, desert spells even. The real question is: why has it been that long? If it’s been no time at all, maybe that’s a good thing. Or, maybe you’re dating out of desperation. If it’s been a very long time, maybe you’ve been focused on a big career move. Or, maybe you’ve been so hurt in the past that you’re afraid to try again. Vulnerability is hard, but also worth it.
Where are you in your life? And where do you want to be? Sometimes we’ve started out on your way to our goals and halfway there we lose our way or feel too tired to keep going. That pause is a good moment to consider whether where you were heading is still where you want to go. If it is, then start to consider if there might be an even better way to get there.
So, how was your check-up?
Right on track?
A few areas need an overhaul?
It’s easy to be too busy doing that we forget about living, but it’s never too late in our lives (or in the year) to do a little checking in.