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Updated: Jan 1, 2023

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary." – Mandy Hale

The year 2020 has been quite eventful, to say the least: COVID, racial tensions, virtual schooling, the election, and whatever else this year has awaiting for us.

Recently, I announced that I was taking a break from baking until 2021. I received much appreciated messages and calls to make sure that I was okay, and well wishes to enjoy my break. Everyone wanted to know why was I taking a break. The reason is simple - I wanted some time back for myself.

There's something that we always leave lurking in the shadows - self care. Somewhere along the path, we tend to forget that we all need self care. I am not speaking of diets or working out. I am talking about taking the time to do what makes us happy - mentally and emotionally.

I have a full time corporate job, I am a single parent, and run a small cake studio. Between all three, I realized that I just needed a break. I was burning the midnight oil, working on cakes and the administrative tasks (website management, photo editing, marketing, etc.) that are a part of being a business owner. I was to the point where I was so used to staying up late, that I couldn't go to sleep when I wanted to. I kept moving forward as life saw fit, but not taking time for me, myself and I. Each day was a pick and choose game - clean up or do laundry, bake a cake and not cook dinner. You get the drift. I was trying to figure out how did I get to this point. And I came to the conclusion that I was not taking enough time for me.

We need to realize the power of the small, but mighty word "NO". Simple as that. The word "NO" is not a part of a sentence, it is a full sentence. It's a statement. I have said no to last minute cake orders. I have said no to marketers wanting me to join and pay for advertising that doesn't work. I have directed all of my business calls to voicemail. And guess what??? I am feeling good as Nina Simone would sing.

Taking a break from baking has allowed me to take time and smell the roses so to speak. I am still working on some behind the scenes tasks for the business here and there at my own pace, but it's the little things that mean so much now, that were somewhat non-existent when baking. Things like:

  • Spending time with family.

  • Watching marathon episodes of Living Single and Property Brothers.

  • Working on home projects.

  • Drinking my tea and eating my favorite snacks. I am quite fond of chips and guacamole.

  • Treating myself to a nice dinner and purchasing a nice scarf.

  • Sleeping in on weekends, lounging on my couch, and having no regrets.

  • Reading - I used to be an avid reader before baking and have finally started reading Becoming, which has been sitting on my nightstand forever.

As women, we tend to take care of everyone else first and leave ourselves for last. You are no good to yourself and others if you aren't in your best form.

I encourage you to take care of yourself. It's more important than you realize, and you deserve it.

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