Well, here I am on Day 2 of my new resolution, just showing up at my keyboard to blog. Intentionally meeting myself here, in these “pages.” Actively keeping my promise to myself just to have this experience and see where it leads.
Actually, I’m intrigued by the idea that a regular writing practice constitutes self-care for me, per yesterday’s (and prior) blog meanderings. I’m also curious about what other needed self-care items I’ve been essentially refusing to do for myself. Like art. I love art. I enjoy making little abstract-design notecards, among other things. I harbor the secret hope of someday working in a larger format – making huge abstract designs on giant canvases.
Someday. But for now, there’s my fun notecard-making practice, which takes very little time and space at all – and few materials.
What else? Well, there’s the “Daily Temperature Reading” – a sharing tool from a couples class my husband and I took years back. This 15-minute daily practice helps with focused connection between partners in a proscribed format, and I love it. I realize I need it to feel emotionally close to my husband on a regular basis. Yet I don’t ask him for a “DTR.” So consequently, we don’t do it. Instead, I seem to continually default to feeling miserable and alone and aloof in our marriage, and staying in those negative feelings, rather than take steps to change them.
What else? Well, I know it’s good for me to regularly connect with extended family and friends. When I don’t, I start feeling lonely and alienated. My thinking brain starts kicking up weird thoughts like they don’t like or love or understand me, or they’re angry at me, and next thing you know, I’m swimming in feelings of rejection and hurt. But. If I just pick up the phone and have a short conversation with them, I’m good. When I give myself the gift of a reality check, there’s my self-care.
What else? Time alone. Honestly saying yes or no. Ditching my people-pleasing tendencies. These are all related for me. I notice I have a hard time going to our pool in the summer, and just lying on a lounge chair in some remote corner and reading a book. It’s like I have some compulsion to be where all the action is (which is not at all relaxing), say “hello” to people I know, and allow myself to be drawn into conversation with them, when I just need to veg-out. Instead I say “yes” to them – or to my people pleasing urges or habit of being “on” all the time, which drive my actions – and “no” to what I really need. It’s literally as if I don’t know how to give myself permission to relax. While I can simply be and write and meditate in the early mornings, once I get into my day, I just keep going. After dinner, I may allow myself to relax on a couch or enjoy a blazing fire with the newspaper, but only if I’m spent. I just go-go-go during the days until I literally fall into bed, while any thoughts of what I needed in the bulk of my day (ie self care) have gone out the window.
Hmmmm. This is all very interesting. It’s like I’m really seeing where I can practice necessary self care in my life, as it is today. There’s still room for a lot of improvement in this area, and I’m ready to do something about it. I won’t let all these insights remain as vague impressions in the back of my mind. They’ve surfaced into consciousness – thankfully – and that’s a gift.
So, that’s it for now. Until tomorrow, dear reader. Who knows what Day 3 at the keyboard will bring!