A friend commended me today for "putting myself firstish some of the time." Firstish, because I had made a decision sort of for myself, but for the me whose choices would affect other people. "Firstish," I thought. "Now if that's not a blogworthy word, what is?"
We go through life, making choices daily. Our choices are about money
and time and who to please and what we need to do. And along the way,
people tell us to make sure we put ourselves first sometimes--that we go for a
massage, or have a manicure, or do whatever it is that is just for
ourselves. It is, perhaps, a valid thought. In the midst of doing for
everyone else, we should make sure to do for ourselves, put ourselves
What I am realizing is that maybe I am not actually that comfortable with
"first." When my friend said "firstish," it rang true for me in a way
that "first" never really has. "Firstish" means choosing what feels good
for yourself, but also feels right in the big picture of family.
"Firstish" means going with your instincts and your values, but bringing
others along for the ride. "Firstish" means making yourself happy, but
not always by being at the front of the line or on top of the heap.
Perhaps someday, I will look back and wonder if I made the right
choices, if I protected myself adequately, if I came out on top enough.
And then I will remember that "firstish" was the choice that kept me
balanced. That "firstish" kept me going when "first" would have just
gotten me stuck. That "firstish" kept me connected to people, rather
than separated and alone.
There's nothing wrong with running the race, even running it quickly.
But sometimes, finishing "firstish" ensures you the best time of all.