While it’s been far longer than I intended since I’ve posted, I trust you’ll forgive me. Like all of you, I’ve been caught up with the daily chores and responsibilities of ordinary life and that’s been punctuated by some larger issues that rushed to the forefront over the last few weeks, some personal, some global. As well as some fun things, like a business trip to Albuquerque, although not during the world-renowned balloon festival.
I’ve said it before, self-care would be a simple thing if there was nothing else going on in our lives. But the challenge, dear Divas, is to find everyday methods to tend to our own secret soul-gardens in the midst of an ongoing whirl of chores, tasks, and drudgery. Self-care can be that tiny mindset shift that allows you to switch from “ugh!” to “ahh!” Oh, I know it sounds like twittering nonsense, but – having walked this path for years now – I can reassure you that it’s one of the most important things to learn to do, especially when you don’t see how it could ever be possible.
Looking over my journal, I see that I’ve done a number of things to smooth my heart since we last spoke. Let me put these into a few categories and let’s talk about them.
Body self-care: I noticed that I had been sorely neglecting simple things in this regard. I made an appointment for a badly-needed haircut and, when a business trip was looming (the first one in two years!), I made sure to take time to have my nails done. I also packed a variety of sample-size spa treatments and indulged in a number of those – foot mask, facial treatment, and so on – while I was away. By the way, always politely ask for what you want. (As Divas, I don’t need to remind you about the “polite” part. Others forget, however.) It’s how I wound up with any number of lovely items during my time away.
Not settling: As part of my quest to get the “sleep part” of the health puzzle figured out, I’m getting better (not perfect! Remember that perfectionism is the downfall of many a Diva!) about calling an earlier end to screen time. I also gave myself permission to not settle for something that was almost right. When a bakery I visited didn’t have just what I wanted, I simply – left. It felt like such an amazing accomplishment! Going along with that, I’ve been far better about not settling for substandard food and I’m making an effort to drink far more water, rather than settling for something I don’t really want. While I was away, I tried hard to be adventurous in my eating, trying a number of foods that were unfamiliar to me.
Small indulgences: These range from a really good coffee, to buying myself flowers for my hotel room at the conference, to a small bit of really good chocolate once a day. (That was helped by visiting several artisanal chocolate shops with an incredible chocolate creator while I was at my conference – which led to a chocolate face mask!)
Feeding my brain: One aspect of the French lifestyle that so attracts me is that society’s reverence for intellectual life. High school students are required to take philosophy, sparkling wit is appreciated, and you’re expected to have something going on between your ears. For me, I continue to work with Duolingo on learning French. I took the opportunity to learn more about how good chocolate is made. I presented my original work at the conference and accepted feedback on where the work might go next. I’m reading good books (both fiction and non-fiction, as well as some reminders about how to do some of this), and carving out time to think about the world and my place in it.
None of these activities by themselves make everything “all right,” whatever that looks like these days. My “to do” list remains lengthy, I often feel as if I’m not doing enough, and I can get overwhelmed by 10 am.
And that’s okay, too.
Trying is the first step to succeeding.
And the world needs us now, quite possibly more than ever.