We’re in the midst of the back to school season, so it’s a great time to have a little Diva Self-Care Check-In. For many of us, we’ve been very, VERY busy taking care of others in our lives, especially if they’re students of any size. That is Right and Proper, but be sure that you don’t get lost in the supply lists and to-do lists and chore lists and, and, and . . . Remember how much of the world is counting on us doing the dozens and scores of things we do each week – it’s a kindness to all to take care of yourself in the maelstrom.
Last week, I took a day to move at my own pace – much needed after that painful arthritis flare that sidelined some of my plans. Mind you, it wasn’t an at home spa day (I love those, you know) and it wasn’t a 12-hour vacation (also love). Yet it was total self-care.
Let me explain.
After tending to the Furry Ones, I really enjoyed taking my second cup of strong coffee and walking around “the property” (OK, it’s about a third of an acre in a neighborhood in my small town – Splendor in the STICKS, remember?) at my own pace. I’ve worked hard this summer at getting the first stages of a multi-year gardening project going and I really enjoy taking a few minutes to marvel at Mother Nature’s abilities to bring forth life from seed, sunshine, and water. I like re-filling the bird feeders and cleaning the hummingbird feeders with fresh homemade nectar (one cup sugar to four cups water, warm on the stovetop until the sugar is all dissolved. No need to boil or to add red food coloring – the hummers will do just fine without it). Pull a few weeds, deadhead the marigolds. Water the newly-planted gifted daylilies and discount forsythia. Consider who might enjoy a few irises when you dig up the ones that are encroaching on the path to the back gate you hacked wheelbarrow-loads of brush down to bring into view. Be sure to water the container impatiens, geraniums, and zinnias. Cut some basil to give to friends and enjoy the spicy scent it spreads through the kitchen.
Get silly by filling up the kiddy pool and plop in the inflatable unicorn Bluetooth speaker and have it blare whatever tickles your fancy – 1970s Laurel Canyon rock, Edith Piaf singing sadly in French, Jason Isbell reminding you that he doesn’t want to die at the Super 8 motel. Open the table umbrella, get a plastic pitcher of water with a few slices of cucumber (from your own garden!), kick off your shoes, slather on the sunscreen, and read something delightfully trashy.
Too hot? Twist up your hair under a straw picture hat, gather some stationery, and go to your favorite coffee shop. Get a cool beverage, touch up your lipstick, pull out a fountain pen, and begin attending to your correspondence by writing a few notes to friends and family. (Add oversize sunglasses for a true air of mystery.) Honestly, so few people hand-write notes these days that you’ll make people wonder. And don’t discount the importance of a hand-written note. I had a bank teller remind me this past week that I once sent him a postcard (he had helped me get some foreign currency to take with me on very short notice) and he still had it years later! Drive by the post office and drop your letters in the mail on the way home. Maybe pick up something luscious for dessert.
Back at home, make a simple supper, like a huge chef salad. Put a cloth on the table and use the stemware. Go wash your face, put on pretty pajamas (don’t be afraid to add your bunny slippers!) and proceed to truly enjoy your dinner while you look back on a day well spent.
Scatter joy – and be sure to take some as your well-earned portion, Divas!