Clues Abound, Confirming my Disrespect of Self-Care Principles
As preparation for this post, I ran a search at the WordPress server. I wanted to cross-link “all prior posts” I’ve written concerning self-care. Result? An empty list. EMPTY!! Mind you, the things kidnapping my attention inevitably find their way to this blog. Yet, not a single reference to self-care.
Why does it matter? My abject failure to pay homage to even rudimentary self-care principles sparked the predictable. Serial rainy weeks, and resulting lack of fresh air enjoyment, further nourished the negativity seed.
First, my ability to concentrate ran away from home. Next, my standard laid-back persona morphed into a foul imitation of Cruella: snippy, rude, mean, inconsiderate. Finally, my sleep routine collapsed. Transformed into a walking bundle of frayed nerves, I knew “something” was off, but couldn’t pinpoint it.
The answer came as I played Robot Woman, reviewing bullet journal spreads, a near daily excursion performed to feed my Pinterest Bullet Journal: Spreads board. A self-care spread smacked me. Seeing it flipped my “Ohhhhhhh, THAT’s what’s happ’nin’” switch. I recognized the error of my ways, and resolved to start tackling it within 24 hours.
ReGrouping, with Deliberate Self-Care Maneuvers
The described aha! moment transpired on a Thursday evening. Once I confirmed a lack of appointments the next day, I felt no guilt in renaming that Friday “MyDay.”
Do NOT misread me. Genuine self-care goes well beyond a mani-pedi and the like. But because I was in near critical condition in terms of my innards, I chose to indulge a crash course, designed to reawaken internal relaxation. Once restored, my spirit could and would then escalate to genuine self-care concerns.
Howdy Epsom Salts!
Although a committed shower gal, I started MyDay with a long luxurious Epsom Salt bath. An aura of intense calm engulfed me, the result of the simultaneous massaging of four of the five (missing: taste) senses:
- Sight (bubbles)
- Smell (lavender)
- Touch (feeling the hot water)
- Hearing (the rush of water filling the tub)
Soothed, I dressed. Donning a baseball cap as quickie umbrella, I walked through a downpour. The trek ate only ½ mile, but that was more outside-world experience than I had enjoyed in a couple of weeks. Bonus: the rain enhanced the feeling of undergoing a cleansing.
Once back inside, I reviewed the linked Pinterest board section for self-care ideas, topping off the research by googling for monthly calendars focused on the same subject. As I read, a hit and run mention of Nintendo triggered a walk down memory lane.
Blowing the Dust off my Nintendo DS
Because I keep all abandoned electronic items in the same room, I visited the closet room. Nature had forced termination of my 4.5 years role as Mom’s 24/7 caregiver. That left an unused third bedroom. I converted it into an open closet, framing three of the four interior walls with rolly closets. The remaining wall buffered a large ClosetMaid shelving contraption, with its nine fabric drawers.
Inspecting the drawers, I soon had both the 2009 Nintendo DS in hand and its charger. My then-fave hidden objects game cartridge already filled the slot.
I spent the morning playing Amazing Adventures: The Forgotten Ruins. That proved so delightful I was tempted to visually inspect my shoulders. I suspected cobwebs were sliding from my brain, in a planned escape through each ear canal.
A new note graced by Daily Log: find & hook up the Wii. 😁
Once upon a time, a nearby Perkins Restaurant ensured a healthy weekly walk, to retrieve a my-head sized trio of soft chocolate chip cookies. But Perkins abandoned North Carolina a couple of years ago.
I compromised, making myself a luscious black & white milkshake (vaniila ice cream with chocolate syrup). Crushing Graham crackers provided the perfect topping. A fat straw pulled the yummies into my being.
Da Cuddle Zone
I killed that milkshake while seated in the bird room, that is, a utility room with washer, dryer, twin bed, chair, shelving stands, and two bird cages. The smaller purple cage serves as Budgie condo. The larger copper cage plays home for DarbyKlan, my pointy headed cockatiel.
Booglies the Budgie welcomed me, immediately flying out of his condo and flitting all around my head.
DarbyK, Mr. Cool & Calm by contrast, made a beeline to his limo seat, my right shoulder.
The Budgie wants no part of cuddling. The cockatiel lives for it. Looking at them, I sighed, still missing our beloved 4-legged son, Jag, short for Jaguar. As a puppy he ate everything in sight, from adjoining wall corners to my Treo phone. Once mature, he proved a fabulous companion. His perfect “housebroken” record marred only toward the end of his life. An amalgamation of tumors compromised his habits and ultimately, any hint of comfort. Love demanded letting go, at least physically.
Perhaps another dog will join our family, but knowing Jag could not be replaced, I ushered in the birds to join our household. Cuddles induce smiles. Smiles welcome relaxation.
Nodding Off to DreamLand
Sprawled backward across the bird room’s ultra comfy lounge chair, I enjoyed the umpteenth viewing of Netflix’s Black Panther.
That dovetailed into a second marathon of Grace & Frankie, the most delightful series about a female friendship I’ve encountered since the “Sugahbakah” days of Designing Women. DW, like G&F, suffered no fools.
Grace & Frankie manages to finesse every transition, from the hysterical (comedian Lily Tomlin) to the touching (insightful Jane Fonda). I needed cheek crutches from the uproarious laughter and tissues from the so-true moments. My kinda show! In this excerpt, a long-suffering wife takes the first step in disposing of her thoroughly obnoxious bully of a husband.
==== ⚠️ NSFW LANGUAGE ALERT ⚠️ ====
Laughter, as always, role-plays a pharmacist’s bounty, instilling peace withOUT a laundry list of wicked side effects.
Creating a Self-Care Spread for my Hobonichi Weeks Bullet Journal
Now well into the evening, I left my feathered friends long enough to retrieve my iPad and Anti-Poinny (inner critic Poindexter) BuJo. Understand: I devote little to no time to the cute factor, opting instead to focus on substance. In this instance, self-care notes pulled purple ink, rounding out my category-dictated color-coding scheme.
I accomplished part one of the spread’s creation, the byproduct of brain dumping alone. A future weekend will witness the addition of part two. That segment will flow from my research findings.
The (Beginning) of my Self-Care Hobonichi Weeks BuJo Spread
I also accomplished part three of this self-care mission. I added Monday through Friday checkboxes to the vertical weekly section of my A5 Slim Jibun Techo Standard. That planner hosts my HeadCheck BuJo, dedicated to HCB—HeadCheck Bookends. Mini-journaling assists in cementing a positive mindset each preDawn weekday morning. The evening segment coerces, under most circumstances, a peaceful mind before climbing into bed.
In adding the new checkboxes, I noticed I’d grown sloppy with the evening HCB component. No wonder my sleeping routine collapsed! Lesson learned. Meanwhile, the notation accompanying the new sequence of checkboxes?
- 🔲 10 minutes of NO-THING
No problem solving. No planning. No thinking. No fixing. No envisioning. Just a solid ten minutes of brute nothingness. I’m called a human being, not a human doing. So I set aside time to just be. Period.
I didn’t fall into a state of emotional and spiritual disrepair overnight. I didn’t crawl out of it overnight. Folks don’t fly up mountains. We scale them, step by step. Self-care, self-compassion, and self-discipline conspire, mandating acceptance of that fact. So be it.
Rather than bemoan my cascading errors culminating in the described debacle, I choose to focus on gratitude, for:
- articles absorbed, detailing the need for daily mindfulness
- the accountability cues sprinkled throughout my bullet journal system, my analog version of a ceiling smoke detector re genuine well-being
- a BFF husband who brings me a meal when he knows I haven’t eaten (unlike many, my appetite vamooses when my nerves get tight)
- friends within my inner circle who strive to elevate others, including me, when we stumble
- a fake claimed friend, banished after her mask fell off, who ultimately deepened my appreciation for the women of character long surrounding me
- a twice-widowed mother who taught persistence, grace, self-respect, and integrity through example, day in day out, even in her waning days when she no longer recognized this daughter
Gratitude fortifies strength, itself a form of self-care.