Self-care is, as I have said overandoverandover, is not about putting yourself first at the expense of others. No, no, and more no! Rather, it’s all about making and taking time to live authentically, to check in with your own values and make sure you’re living in accordance with those, and treating yourself well, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you.
It would seem the world has caught up with this idea, naming the “Coastal Grandmother” aesthetic the “summer trend.” I’ll admit to laughing heartily at this, especially the idea of “can I be a coastal grandmother at 25?” Who knows? Perhaps we’re inching toward being less totally absorbed with unlined faces and uncomfortable shoes and more toward a good roast chicken recipe and walking on the beach when we want to.
It’s easy to forget the “good stuff” going on in our lives when things are in turmoil. This is one of the many reasons I gently suggest some form of journaling every day. There are as many ways to do this as there are stars in the sky and you’ll find the right one for you if you go looking for it. For me, my current journal is a simple hand-sized faux-Moleskin notebook where I jot down a few good and beautiful things I saw or experienced that day. In no way does that mean I ignore the awful and heart-breaking, but even on those days, I try to find something uplifting and positive in the day. When I get ready to write these posts, I look over what I’ve written down since last I posted, and pick out some of the items to share. For example, since the last post, I’ve taken care of myself by:
- Spending time with good friends over good food. Laughter and a fire pit are always good choices.
- Built my art table for the watercolor studio in the new house. It’s really a spare bedroom, but I’ve decided it’ll be a studio/office, rather than an office/studio, thereby putting my creative endeavors in front of work and mundane, yet necessary, things like bill paying. Tiny changes in language can have huge results, Divas! (And yes, it took far too long to assemble that table – but I did it!)
- Tackled a few problems head-on, like dealing with banks and budgets. Being a Diva means taking care of your financial needs and responsibilities, like insurance and home upkeep.
- Enlisted help to get some furniture out of the new house (a friend now has a lovely china cabinet that just didn’t suit us) and clear out the attic. With the right attitude that can be fun – we found a number of oddities there, including an 8-track tape player and a revolving Christmas tree stand, along with one rather lovely hand-blown glass candy dish.
- Enjoyed the arrival of my Chanel No. 5 in exquisite packaging and wore it for no reason and every reason. And yes, that included the days I spend dripping with sweat while helping to clear out the attic at the new house.
- Got involved in a cause that matters to me. I strongly encourage this – whatever the cause may be (literacy, getting kids to camp to experience fresh air and independence, food banks, clothing closets, animal care, etc.), there’s a group out there that could use your energy and assistance.
Divas, the world needs us, so we have to take care of ourselves to better heal the world.