This particular entry will be short. I almost ALWAYS tend to feel better when I do for others. I don’t feel as fulfilled when I take care of myself. Yes, it’s better to give, but one has to put the oxygen mask on first or what one gives will empty one’s own gas tank.
My gas tank has been empty too long. I realized this today when someone asked me to do something and I thought I have no more left to give. I knew that in order to give I had to take care of myself first.
So, I cleaned out my car, which didn’t have much in it, but I cleaned it out anyways and took it to the car wash. It hadn’t been to the car wash in AGES!
I need to do more of that before I do for others. If I keep working at that task I just might find balance. And now I’m going to go to bed and read a book. Something I like to do but don’t do enough of it.
May we all do more for ourselves so we can give to others.
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Today I woke up and thought to myself “today will be different.” Today I will make choices that will bring me happiness and health. Today when I woke up I made pimento cheese (with vegan mayo), kalamata olive hummus, and smashed Brussels sprouts. That way I’d have the makings for homemade healthy snacks for at least a week. I’m more inclined to eat at home when I have foods at home that I enjoy.
I can’t say I really care for the smashed sprouts though. They need some help. Maybe a bit of potato mixed in. Not sure yet, but I’ll experiment a bit more before I call it a bust. But I created. I tried. I did.
Then I started staring at my computer. Never a good idea. It has a way of sucking one in….A click here. A click there. It doesn’t end. Does it ever? But I had a plan.
And today I made it happen. Not tomorrow. Not yesterday. Today. Today I kept my promise to myself. I went to the complex gym and got on the bike for a bit–a few minutes longer than before. Then I lifted some weights. I didn’t spend forever there. I’ve gotten into traps before, thinking I had to spend an hour or two or three at the gym. But that’s an illusion like so many things.
Meditate for a minute and have peace for a lifetime.
But wait!!! I still had more to do for me. I needed to write. When I write I connect with a piece of my soul. I can’t really explain that with words. But writing brings me peace. So I took myself out of my environment and drove to a small coffee shop and started composing my thoughts. And allowing them to flow.
This is the way to wake up. This is the way to live in the now. This is the way to live. One creative second at a time.
The best part about waking up? I’ve accomplished so much and will accomplish so much more before the day is done. Car wash. Ordering new glasses. Then home to just be. Because just being means more than anything.
It’s never enough. It never will be. The cookie. The ice cream. The hot fudge sauce. It’s never enough. It never will be. I’ve written about this before, and I’ll write about it again. I’m not sure anyone gets it, and I’m also quite sure it’s not their job to get it.
Walking around the grocery store tonight I picked up a small container of ice cream. Then I thought to myself “I should get some hot fudge sauce”. I walked down to the end of the aisle and picked up a jar of the hot fudge sauce. I glanced at the label and calculated the nutrition. I knew then I couldn’t buy it, because I wouldn’t stop at just one serving. I never can.
Somehow I start with the first bite and keep going and going and going and going. And it never ends. I know that sugar is addictive and that’s a HUGE part of the situation. There’s a reason why they say sugar is more addictive than cocaine. A HUGE reason.
But it’s not about that for me. I want to know and I need to know that I’m okay with the world and that I’m okay with myself. I can’t get that from others, but I seek that. That’s the crazy paradox of life. Seek that which we cannot have.
It’s Friday night, and I’m sitting her writing because writing makes me happy. I feel a spark of creative joy when I write. I need to do that more. Whether I do anything with it is almost secondary. I just need to light that match of creativity. That spark of joy can fulfill me the way a jar of hot fudge cannot.
Find those things that make you happy and that’s the way out of addiction. That’s also the only way to live.
To be continued……
Staring at my bookshelves, wondering about the immutability of the words and the lives written on the pages. What will happen when there are pages no more? I do wonder about that. The smell of a good book transports me to places beyond the reaches of my conscious imagination. On my bookshelves I have pictures perched of people who have enriched my life, people who have transcended to another realm. A picture of my father standing in front of the house where I spent the first ten years of my life. He wears a white shirt and a light blue slacks. And his ever ubiquitous grin. I get my smile from him.
Three shelves above rests a picture of my great grandmother. She’s wearing a blue shirt-sleeved dress and a strand of pearls, perhaps it’s the same strand I’ve recently inherited. I’d like to think so.
She lived to be 93. God gave me the chance to know her, to be loved by her in this world. We’d play in her closet, trying on hats and playing dress-up. She used to make her own hats! Imagine that! I so wish I’d known that when she was still alive. Maybe she could have taught me the fine art of hat making.
I’m sitting here in the midst of a modern day dilemma. The paradox of self-care. It feels better to care for others, yet when I care for myself first it becomes easier to care for others. I have more to give others. Yet, sometimes it feels like a chore to wash up all the plates after dinner. Sometimes I wait a day to unload the dishwasher. Activities that take mere minutes.
Self-care is doing those things, and it’s also being okay with not doing those things, as long as not doing them doesn’t become a habit.
Self-care is not being so obsessive about things. I’ve been through a massive decluttering stage, but I still have stuff! So, for me, the key is to work on one area at a time.
And that area for now is to finish this entry and call it to be continued, so I can finish a few tasks and head to bed…….
It’s been a long time since I’ve written. Too long. Self-care is making sure it’s not such a long time between conversations with myself and conversations with the universe……
Last month I began another turn around the sun. I promised myself that this turn would be different. This turn would be better. I promised myself I’d make fewer mistakes–that I’d work to create more of the life I want and deserve. That I would make life happen instead of waiting for life to happen to me.
I’ve done that too much–wait for life to happen. My emotions have controlled me. Overwhelmed me. Determined my fate. I can remember being a young girl and being conscious of my parents’ monetary struggles. I’m not sure if they talked to me about them or if I just overheard. Either way I had an awareness, and I took it on and worried. They didn’t ask me to. I had an automatic response. It’s as though I was born with it.
Born with worry and with fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of so much. I’m not even sure I can quantify the fear. My mind immediately goes to the worse case scenario. I’ve had a problem with my little toenail, and I decided I had a fungus or something worse, and I’d need to take prescription medicine for six months or something worse. Well I don’t have a fungus. I just have a weak toenail. I hit it against something a couple of months ago and it didn’t grow back as strong. Yet, until I went to the doctor, I assumed the worst.
In some ways I’ve made improvements and the worrying/fear isn’t as intense. Whenever I’d have car problems I’d dread waiting for the phone call. I wouldn’t want to hear how expensive the repairs MIGHT BE. I’d work myself into a tizzy of monumental proportions.
The other day I had to take my car to the mechanic, but this time I didn’t worry. This time I dropped it off, walked a mile and a half to a local coffee shop, waited for a friend to pick me up, and just chilled. I altered my behavior. It made all the difference.
I have a choice. I have a choice each day to observe and to choose my reactions. Some times it takes much more effort than I’d care to ever admit. It’s not easy to choose to remain calm. To work at remaining calm. It’s actually much easier to choose to overreact and then eat over it or become stagnant.
Today, in this moment, I choose calmness. I choose breath. I choose hope. I choose to work at creating my future.
For as long as I could remember I’d wanted to visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields. Something about acres of flowers makes me happy in ways I can’t describe with words. I had so many excuses for why I couldn’t go. None of them really amounted to anything.
I’ve been thinking too much lately about my life. Too much. I felt a shift a week ago, and decided “if not now, when?” I needed to go now. I needed to feel life now. I’m tired. I’m exhausted of thinking I have to wait until I’m thin to live.
Then there’s all the rainstorms we’ve been having. The universal forces decreed that I go now.
And Because I Could I Did. I found a reasonable hotel in Oceanside via Priceline and booked two nights. Then I discovered Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside and decided to stop there too, so I could feel the peaceful vibrations of one of California’s holy places.
If you want to do something, and it won’t break your budget, do it now. Do it while you can. Live. You’re worth it.
Scenes from my adventures:
Yesterday, on a whim, I went to the beach. Well before I went to the beach I ate lunch at Neptune’s Net–I ordered a garden burger at a place known for seafood. I sat on a bench, with the sun beaming happiness onto my skin, while I slowly consumed my meal.
I do not often choose myself. Mostly I place others’ expectations well above the needs of my soul. I don’t feel okay unless I’m okay with others, unless I’m okay in their world. I recognize the backward thinking involved here, and I’m working on it.
What does that look like? On a day filled with the wonders of the universe it means I follow my heart and take it to the ocean where I watch the ebb and flow of the waves and understand how miraculous life is if I simply allow it to be that way.
So because I could go to the beach yesterday I did.