I resort to this unhealthy behavior of putting my needs and health last even though there is at least one vital self-care lesson I have every year, even though I know that I am so much better, have so much more to offer when I have offered myself care as a regular part of my life. I abandon my health and happiness (by stopping my workouts to make time for grading papers or not giving myself some much needed quiet time for processing or creating because I don’t want my son to have to be with a sitter for an hour) so that I can trade for the false-promise that by doing that I will make everyone else happy. And, yet, here’s the thing. Making myself less happy and less healthy has never made anyone else more happy or healthy. MAKE DECEMBER CLAIM YOUR CARE MONTH The importance of self-care is a lesson that I keep learning and keep teaching. Have you ever heard that adage you teach what you need to learn? In this case, I absolutely teach what I need to learn. And this holiday season, I’ve decided to really make a case for care because come December 31st, I really want to be able to know, to feel in my soul, that I savored every moment of the month’s festivities with my family. I want to have really been present for the tree cutting, the house decorating, the parade watching, the cookie making, the light admiring, the festival attending, the carol singing, the book reading, the gift buying, the service attending, the gift opening, and everything else that comes with the season. And if there is anything that I know about myself it is that I am most able to be present for others when I have been present for myself.