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I Am My New Priority

By Lynn Clare March 18, 2024 Mindset

It has taken me over 60 years, but I have finally come to understand that you truly cannot take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself first.

Just like the safety instructions on an airplane – Put Your Oxygen Mask on First!

I Wanted to Serve Others

My history is the same as it was for most women my age. I was the one who looked after, supported, loved, nurtured, and sacrificed for everyone in my life. Family, friends, husband, children, neighbors, people at work, you name it. Often to my own detriment.

For many years, I felt like I was the only one who could or would do it.

From the bottom of my heart, it made me happy to give everything I had to those that I loved. They didn’t even need to ask. If I saw what seemed to be a need, I did whatever I could to help.

It made me feel valuable as a human being to be of service to others.

What I didn’t realize was that I was not saving some of that compassion for myself. Anything I did that was just for me felt selfish and many of those I had helped were very quick to criticize me for it.

But I Also Needed to Take Care of Myself without Feeling Guilt

Now, looking back, I wonder if the real issue was what I was taking away from them by having something for myself. Those, of course, are the same people who somehow were not available when I needed something.

Slowly but surely, I have pulled away from those people and situations. Creating some distance has helped me to see what I really needed and that was to take care of myself first and then share what I could with others.

Remembering what brings me joy and giving myself permission to have it has been wonderful. I relish those beautiful moments when something new shows up, and I know I am free to explore it.

There are so many things that I love, and now I am taking the time to enjoy them. Something as simple as shutting off my phone while I take a nap, read a book, or write an article feels like a total indulgence. I am no longer available to everyone 24 hours a day. Do Not Disturb has become one of my favorite settings!

I Am Also Learning How to Say No

I do not need to give an explanation or apology when I say no. I want to say it kindly but with conviction, so I’m practicing different ways to politely decline. It is a work in progress after a lifetime of always saying yes. It helps if I just pause before giving an answer to a request. I try to remember that sometimes I need to say no to them to say yes to me.

Another change I am making is how I give. I love to walk into a grocery store and pay for someone’s food or donate to a worthy cause as a gift to my grandchildren. There are so many people in need and so many ways that any kindness I can show fills my heart with joy and appreciation.

The real beauty of making myself a priority is that I have so much more to give. I feel nourished and abundant in ways that I never imagined.

My sense of self-worth is no longer tied to what others need from me; it is simply what I deserve for myself.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you been the person everyone turns to for help? Are you able to say no to requests or do you say yes even when it depletes you? How do you take care of yourself? Share your stories and join the conversation!

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EXACTLY who I was and how I feel now. Recently I have felt like such a fool because I poured my heart & soul into my family only to find out they didn’t notice nor remember. It does feel selfish yet if I am to become a better person for those I love then I need to live my life doing those things that feed my soul!


Laura, hello. I guess we have to examine why we put everything into family. Clearly, we must enjoy it. I think when we give we ought not to expect anything in return. Maybe it is important to fill our lives with what WE love. I also think every generation feels like this. Especially women who tend to be the caregivers.

My mother had a career, had lots of interests and did look out for family. I think she had a nice balance. It did bother her that people weren’t there for her in the way she thought they should be. She gave way too much.

I think I also give way too much and I am adjusting that. We sure don’t want to become resentful. That only harms us.

Patricia Lanton

Hello Margaret! Happy Tuesday Blessings to you and Sixty and Me Sisters! This article about me time is for me.I am a single parent with four kids and I was also a people pleaser always trying to help. I am retired now and I am taking the time to care for myself. Thank you very much for sharing Much Love ❤️

Eileen Johnson

I’m working on this! I have started to have this conversation with people. I want to make this shift without seeming or feeling like I don’t care about anyone anymore. I will find the balance that is right for me. 🌟

Stella Fosse

Do you read Romance? Wish there were more stories of people our age? Imagine you could write better than a lot of what’s out there? My next book is “Write & Sell Your Well-Seasoned Romance.” Talk about a great hobby…

Stephanie Bryant

Great article. I am on my own journey of self discovery and reawakening. I had to seek estrangement from four very close family member’s unfortunately. Like you said in the article I was there for everyone, but nobody was there for me. There was mental and emotional abuse involved as well.
I’m doing what I want to do now. There’s not much time in front of me. I am traveling joining clubs, meeting friends and doing quiet things at home, which is peaceful now, up until a year ago it wasn’t.

Viki Venable

Keep up the good work I truly believe it comes back to you

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The Author

Lynn Clare is a freelance writer living in Denver, Colorado. She is an avid traveler and loves writing about her adventures for women who travel solo at

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