When travelling on planes as a child, to and from my respective parents’ homes, I was also uncomfortable with the safety discussion with regard to the oxygen masks. How could someone healthy selfishly put on her own mask before assisting those nearby with theirs? Surely the stronger could hold out longer than the weak, and put aside her own comfort to aide those so much more in need. (And still have time to help herself.)
It was years before I understood that if we do not help ourselves we cannot help others. I know it in an academic sense, and I try to practice it with my own emotional stability. And we hope to be there as a family, in a very temporal way, helping others because we are fine.
What I fail to remember is that this also applies to my own health. Doing the dishes when I’m sick is really not necessary, and I’d likely get better faster if I took the time to rest. My days would be happier and more productive if I set a “stop” time each night and sent myself to bed, regardless of what was left undone downstairs.
If I took the time to exercise I’d be healthier, happier, and have more energy, not to mention I’d be a better example to my family of the life I would like them to live. But when I do find the time to pop in a video and sweat it up I can invariably think of half a dozen other things I could do with that measly 30 minutes that would more immediately benefit my family. And I chose that. Because working out just seems so selfish.
Even though I know it isn’t. My muscles need that oxygen-rich blood pumping through my body just as much as I need oxygen to breathe. And I’m not as much good without.