Remember about a month ago when I wrote about how self-care is not selfish? I have recently forgotten to take my own advice on that front. February was kind of up and down, especially having a two week long nasty cold. But after the cold was gone and my head was clear I was still so cranky and down and I couldn’t figure out why. I even found myself resisting my kindness challenge a little bit. I guess some of it was a little PMS (TMI, sorry) but over all I just was blah. And then I figured it out.
I am not taking care of ME. I’m taking care of everything and everyone around me, and I am not taking care of me. No wonder I’ve been in a yucky place!
First thing I did was gave myself permission to put aside my book for book club this month. It was a heavy, tough read and it is important subject, about how women in other countries who were in prostitution and sex trafficking rings were helped and got out of those situations and rose up. I think I’d be ok reading this at another time, but right now I just couldn’t do it. I felt extremely guilty about it at first, if I want to change the world I shouldn’t turn away from the tough stuff right? Then another member of my book club came out and said she wouldn’t be reading it and a few others voiced similar thoughts so I felt a little better stepping away from it. Instead I finished Lauren Graham’s book (which I just posted a review of the other day) and for the first time in months gave myself permission to read a complete fluff fiction book. Ollie actually selected it for me! He pulled it off the shelf at the library and when I saw it is about four friends who take a reunion trip to Jamaica (Jamaica, how I heart thee!) I had to read it. It feels good and I’m really enjoying the release. I’m about halfway through and I will definitely share more about it when I’m finished.
Second thing I realized is that I can’t do it all. I want to do all the things to make the world a better place, but it’s ok to admit that I can’t do everything. It’s ok to skip a protest or a talk or an event in favor of spending time with my family. It’s exhausting keeping up with everything and I’m not throwing in the towel or saying I’m not still resisting or fighting back, but I’m going to give myself permission to do it on the timetable that works for me. It’s also ok to be invested in things like Beyonce’s twins or how (spoiler alert!) Jack died on This Is Us or March Madness or the hilarious video of the BBC reporter getting interrupted by his kids or even that freaking giraffe who I think still hasn’t had her dang baby. Yes I keep my finger on the pulse of the National and World news and events, but it helps to balance with the fun stuff too. There is nothing wrong with that.
Third thing is it’s OK to take baby steps. I want to do more ethical shopping. Ethical shopping is not necessarily the cheap option. I want to shop more locally for food and groceries, but I need to be able to affordably feed my family. We’ve tried our local Co-Op for a few shopping trips now and I don’t think we can switch over there permanently. We can do as much as we can, we can shop farmer’s markets this summer and local meat markets, but sometimes we’re going to need to go Target or Cub. And as for other things, I can’t expect to change it all overnight. Getting back to thrifting has been huge. I can keep working at looking for more local or ethically made items. I can’t expect my entire closet to shift over immediately. And I just don’t think I’m ever going to quit Target, it’s kind of my happy place (and it’s become Ollie’s too….)
And finally, fourth thing, I decided to take a day off on Friday just because. No plans, no reason. I have wellness hours at work to use, I was sicker than a dog with the sinus crud on the last work holiday, so I figured, I deserve a day off when I’m not sick, Ollie’s not sick and I can just take the day as it comes. And it’s St. Patrick’s Day so I can Irish it up, hahaha!
So, what’s the lesson here? Basically I just had to take a step back and remember the things that I need to do to help my own happiness and well being. And I know, this is all stuff I preached about in my last self care post so you’re probably going, ok, how are you going to not fall away on this again? Well, I am going to try to do a weekly check in with myself and also a monthly self care post on the blog. Similar to how I’m writing down one kind thing a day in Lent, I’m going to try to write down one thing I did for self care each day as well.
My cup already feels full again. I’ll do my best to keep it that way so I don’t have to keep looking for a refill. And on we go!