Tiffany - Standish, Maine
Entered on February 23, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe we each do the best we can given the circumstances we find ourselves in. I sleep better at night assuming that others’ have the best intentions. While I realize there are those that wish harm and plight onto others, (I’m not naive), I think we’d all be a little better off if we made a conscious effort to see the positive aspects, the perspective of the other person that makes their decisions seem right for them. This essay is about the choices I’ve made about keeping myself healthy, in mind, body, and spirit. I was asked to consider this topic in a recent graduate class; I’m studying Educational Leadership and am a School Administrator at the Middle and Secondary School level. It’s true that you cannot care for and foster the youth of America if you cannot first take care of yourself. Therefore, and in pursuit of a long, healthy, career that is marked by contribution and leading by example, I give myself Permission.

I give myself Permission to sleep with my dog even though my husband doesn’t like it. Lucky for him we have a king-sized bed.

I give myself Permission to sleep roughly 8 hours a night. My husband and I each have a child who goes to the other parent’s home every-other-weekend and I give myself Permission to sleep in on those days. I may even stay in my pajamas and read all day.

I give myself Permission to go on vacation. I live in the North East and really and truly need the heat and the sun in the middle of our cold winter.

I give myself Permission to be a neat freak and enjoy a routine. I was born a neat-freak, married a neat-freak and the give and take of sharing chores really works for me and for us. I give myself Permission to admit that I’d be incredibly stressed if it did not.

I give myself Permission to read books, a lot, all at once. My recent favorites are a true story about the most amazing elephant who ever lived, a book about American dependence on Saudi oil, and Blink by Gladwell.

I give myself Permission to admit mistakes and when I don’t understand something. I will educate myself and seek answers. I give myself Permission to ask for help.

I give myself Permission to pay for Graduate school even when we need to fix the roof. (It keeps us dry and, we’ll get to it in good time.)

I give myself Permission to eat a healthy diet and enjoy raw foods, but also to eat black licorice and nachos any time I want. Anything in moderation, right?

I give myself Permission to absolutely love my job 110%, feel like it’s my home-away-from home, dive in completely, and even delay important phone calls to play a game of Dodge Ball with students and teachers.

I give myself Permission to leave work at work.

I give myself Permission to speak up, and call it like I see it. I think those who know me would agree that I’ve softened over the past few years, grown better at choosing time and place, and being a more patient, approachable leader. But gutsy enough to say and do what needs to be done, and respected for it.

I give myself Permission to ski. I’m teaching my young son to ski this year because of the precious time it provides the two of us, and the opportunity it offers to him.

I give myself Permission to despise pretend play and puzzles and to allow my son to enjoy the games of my youth with my young brothers: toy guns, swords, and rough-housing.

I give myself Permission to admit that I do not enjoy exercise but will take walks, continue getting massages and promise to get back into Yoga.

You should give yourself Permission today.

This I believe.