My good friend and coaching colleague, Rhonda, shared with me last night that I have inspired her to make sure she is at the top of her to do list. She had a busy day that seemed to be conspiring against her commitment to make it to her Zumba class. She knew she had the perfect excuse to NOT go, husband had a last minute work obligation, babysitter couldn’t make it, in-laws not available. She told me that she asked herself “what would Cate do?” I don’t know exactly where this thought process took her, but she kept her head and commitment to her self-care and worked everything out so that she could go. Everyone survived with little-to-no drama, and she was in a fabulous mood having taken good care of herself by sweating her butt off.
I was surprised that I had made that impression, but clearly shouldn’t be. I’ve known Rhonda for over six years and she knows my “story”. How I struggled as a single mom caring for two aging parents and suddenly realized if I didn’t begin to take better care of my precious self, there would be no one to care for my family! How did I do it? Baby steps. I started with one thing that I could manage, a couple hours away from family obligations a week, followed by more, until I finally had a working schedule that put me at the top of my to-do list without drama and with NO excuses.
What I didn’t ask Rhonda, as she showered me with acknowledgment, was what qualities she saw in me that she was now expressing in her life so that she is able to take better care of herself. So I asked myself this question. Lately I am inspired by my friend Jackie. Despite a new job that requires she “dress up”, despite having to leave exercise class early to get to work on time, despite being tired at the end of the day when she shows up at dance class, she does it. It is wonderful to have her as an exercise buddy, because if I know Jackie’s going to be there, I show up! No excuses. It’s not that I ALWAYS go, it’s just that I won’t make excuses because I know she won’t buy it.
What are the qualities I see in Jackie that inspire me? Discipline, determination, commitment and humor. All a great mix to sweat with the best of us and still arrive at work fresh and ready.
What I’ve discovered is that there is nothing like self-care to guarantee that I won’t be resentful about my “other” obligations — work, household chores, family. My day flows with ease knowing that my self-care is in place and running efficiently!
Who inspires you? What kind of person, what are the qualities, of a person who “does” what inspires you? Are you willing to nurture those qualities in yourself?