ordinary and oddinary

I write therefore I exist.

Looking after myself

I do a list of things to look after myself.

Well, I wasn’t always like that. To put it mildly, I was my own worst enemy. I felt it was selfish to spend time and money on myself and I believed there were more important things in life. The big change which completely shook my paradigm came along about 5 years ago, July 2007.

Mark and I were a happy couple. We had been married for 4 years by then and were  busy working young professionals. It all began when Mark was complaining about frequent dizziness. He also described that he didn’t feel balanced when he was walking. We went to see different doctors and he took a series of tests.

Mark was diagnosed with brain cancer. He went through one intrusive operation, chemotherapy then radiotherapy. Finished? Oh no. The nasty tumour came back in October 2010. He had to undergo another gruelling surgery and focused radiotherapy.

From the first operation, Mark’s health has never been fully recovered. He goes to the physio three times a week and walks with a walking stick. His short-term memory is not perfect (his was never anyway for his defence! :-)). His speech has slurred and when he tries to project his voice, it cracks.  He takes an MRI every 6 month.

Despite all, he’s doing well.

He works fulltime and fortunately his intellectual prowess for his job has remained intact. We still have a good life together and try to live our lives to the fullest. I have no doubt that his super positive attitude helps a lot.

Now back to me.

Well, I think it was around his second recuperation,  that’s when I started thinking about taking seriously good care of myself. Mind you, as you can imagine, I’ve had my emotional rollercoaster along the way to reach where I am now. When you’re not looked after, you cannot look after anybody. When you’re exhausted, you cannot energise others. Ultimately when you’re not happy, you cannot make anybody happy around you. Quite the opposite.

Hence, this is my list of tested-proven activities, which I call ‘looking after myself’.  

  1. I take supplements – Multivitamins, Co enzyme Q-10, Flaxseed oil and Lecithin. Lecithin wasn’t my usual one but my friend gave me and decided to have a go.
  2. I go to the gym after work during the week and train about 1 hour. You can’t beat the warm shower after a work-out!
  3. I take a flamenco dance class every Friday. This is truly enjoyable and I do feel like a professional dancer with my skirt and shoes on. I’ve made some great friends from the class and tend to go out for a drink afterwards.
  4. I eat healthy. Well this is not a special regime I’ve taken in, because being Korean, I’m not a great fan of fatty or greasy food. However, I make a concerted effort to eat healthy and delicious food and refuse to eat for the sake of getting full. I love seafood, vegetable and beans.
  5. I drink at least 3 bottles of water, which works out at 1.5L per day. I drink a couple more in summertime. I don’t drink fizzy drinks (I don’t like them, so not a problem.). I drink tea but rarely drink coffee.
  6. I look after my appearances including  proper skin care, body image, fashion and hair. I’m a 5’2” and always maintain a UK size 6-8 /EU size 34-36. I’m happy and confident with the way I look.
  7. I buy the most expensive chocolate box at a supermarket shelf occasionally just for myself and savour every bite.
  8. I take regular massage, at least bi-weekly. This is the most luxurious and indulging gift I give to myself.
  9. I buy a Spanish magazine of my choice every Saturday to enjoy with a nice cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit. It makes me catch up all the latest gossips and feel refreshed.
  10. Most importantly, I cherish my own company and I do whatever I feel like doing without interruption at least one evening during the week.

Trust me – “Without ‘me’, there’s nothing. I’m the most important asset.”


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