(found on Pinterest)
Oh how I wish it were true
I would love to be laid back, easy going, 'who gives a... what anyone thinks' sort of a gal.
However, I am more of a tightly wound, constantly on edge, worry wart, who cares too much about what anyone thinks kinda gal. The eternal parent pleaser! And it pisses me off!
I spent Saturday afternoon in the company of a group of wonderful women, in a Women's Circle arranged and hosted by a good friend. The theme for the afternoon was 'Caring for Ourselves' and how exactly we do that. It was a comfortable and relaxing place to sit and discuss how we are looking after ourselves, or more importantly, how we are not. I knew some of the women already and met 3 for the first time. It was comforting and re-assuring to hear similarities and inspiring to hear how other people do things, things that I thought, Yes, I can do that too. The group weren't all the same age as me - we had 3 generations of women there - Maidens, Mothers and (thoughtfully rephrased from Crone) Grandmothers. Our circle was also shared with a beautiful 5 week old baby. So it was really interesting to hear the different perspectives and stories passed between us all.
Part of the afternoon was for us to take a bit of time to individually think about how we take care of ourselves, or what we could do to take that care, and to transfer those thought onto paper in a picture representation of how we see ourselves.
This is what I drew (its not the original, which I left at the circle, but redrawn from memory) :
A scarf in the middle - I will rarely be seen without one in my hair or around my neck - regardless of weather! Coffee and wine are my life juice and keep me going (easy to see how well I look after myself straight from the off!)
The picture is split into what I need less of (at the top) and what I need more of (at the bottom).
So looking in more detail, in order to take better care of myself, I need less:
Guilt & Doubt - Am I doing enough with Kiddo? Am I spending enough time with Hubby? Am I doing enough in the house? Am I enough? Am I contributing enough? I cant' go here/there as what about Kiddo (he's my responsibility not a babysitter's, aka my Mother's), I can't buy this/that for myself as we might need such and such. Having a bad day with Kiddo = immense guilt and replaying how I should've handled it better.
Procrastination - I can ALWAYS find something to do over what I think I SHOULD be doing (see above)
Toxins - 1.some friends and family members ( do I really care what they think? Why??)
2.chemicals - I used to be fanatical about home-made home cleaners and beauty products
Social Media - Facebook and Twitter cause me more frustration and angst than is needed in my life
Opinions - see toxins - I care too much about others' judgement and comments, be it about my lifestyle choices, parenting choices, my wardrobe, my ethics, my politics, my home (and housekeeping...) etc etc...
Should - this word SHOULD be eliminated from our vocabulary! Period! It has to be one of, if not the, most judgemental words in our language.
Having established what is sabotaging my ability to properly care for myself, what is going to change? What do I need more of:
Time for me - even if it is only 20 mins (and not waste it on social media!!) to read or write (blogging, poetry, journal), relax (meditation and yoga), to make and create, craft activities, a bit pampering (at home or outwith)
Finish my courses I started - massage and meditation, get my qualifications
Use my Indian Head Massage qualification - its relaxing to give the treatment but also earn a little income for the home.
Get back into making all my household cleaners and beauty products
Grow a thicker skin and make like a Honey Badger (the worlds most fearless wee creature)
As Hubby says, "Honey Badger gives zero fucks" (not sure where he got that quote from...)
I do try to take care of myself, as I am well aware that if I am not functioning, nothing else in my life will. I love the time in the morning before Hubby gets home from work and before Kiddo gets up, its 10 mins, just me and a mug of fresh coffee, sitting in the quiet calm, planning the day ahead. Or at night with some candles and incense burning, and a chance for a blether with Hubby. I love to be out in all weathers with Kiddo, exploring what nature has to offer, observing and honouring the changing seasons throughout the year. We all love to cook in this house, it is so satisfying to prepare, cook and enjoy a home-made meal, especially when I have a little pair of helping hands alongside me. Plus, a solid sense of humour (albeit with a heavy dose of sarcastic wit) continually sees me well.
I like to think that I know of my flaws and of my strengths - all of which make up ME, unique only to me, but like everything else in life, I am a work in progress, forever learning, growing and evolving. By taking better care of myself and focussing on the positives and positive changes that are needed, I will continue to grow and evolve to be a better me.
As Max Ehrmann said in 'Desiderata': Strive to be happy.