Tuesday, December 15, 2015

self-care, part 2

Karen pointed out in the comments to that self-care post that there is some overlap between self-care and self-indulgence when you've been through a difficult or stressful time, which is an excellent point. Since I know some of you read this on RSS where you can't see the comments, I'll copy a slightly edited version of my reply below (since I don't seem to have anything else to say today).

I don't think I'll be posting on a regular schedule until after the new year. I'm feeling singularly uninspired. I don't seem to be able to find the middle ground between writing what I hope are thought-provoking posts but make me sound like I'm preaching at you, and the posts where I'm more honest about my bad days, which no one wants to read. At least, I wouldn't want to read them if I were you! Advice and/or feedback welcome. Have a great week, and I hope you are finding ways to enjoy the holiday rush.

In reply to Karen's comment: Good point, because sometimes indulgence is exactly what you need to take care of yourself. The way that last post was written-- maybe it only applies to me and this weird limbo land I've been in this fall. I'm pretty much out of the depression I was experiencing a couple of months ago, but I haven't yet figured out what I'm doing. I keep saying that--that's why I originally went back to grad school five years ago, because I couldn't figure out what to do. That kept me busy for three years but now--another three years later-- I still can't figure out what to do.  

On the topic of self-care, after I read your comment I realized I'm not doing either--taking care of myself OR indulging myself (although I have been spending a bit too much time reading, I suppose that is indulgence, but it's my go-to activity when I can't figure out what to do next). Probably most people work themselves too hard and need (and deserve) self-indulgence, but I'm definitely not working that hard. 

The rest of that post--the part that I said I haven't written yet--was going to be some sort of mangled version of the Serenity prayer-- Give me the courage to not do the things I want to do (sit on the couch and read), the motivation to do the things I don't want to do (clean off the counter, go for a walk), and the discernment to know which is which. But it would need another line: and the wisdom to know when to blow off all of that and indulge, because indulgence is necessary sometimes.


KarenB said...

In reference to the I don't know what I'm going to do bit . . . I've come to the conclusion that for me, there is no what I'm going to be when I grow up. I'm just going to do the things I want to try and to try, in small ways, to make a difference in the world. And I'm trying to let go of things I can't control. So, for instance, for a very long time, I've wanted to try throwing pots on a pottery wheel. I've found a class and signed up this fall and am having a wonderful time. It turns out, I'm actually not too bad at it! Then there's things like Lora's class for which I just sent a holiday bag for each kid, or the effort in my community to sponsor a refugee family from Syria. And last, walking away from the nasty fighting at church. It makes me sad it's going on, but I really truly don't want to get involved in it all. Most lives are quiet, small lives, affecting only the people around them, but it is those lives that the fabric of the world is woven.

KarenB said...

And I meant to say, that fallow times are okay. Think of a field in winter -- it's not really doing anything except waiting for spring. Sometimes you need a little time of winter -- reading, not doing much of anything -- to help make it clear what it is you DO want to do.

BarbN said...

thank you (again) for your wisdom, Karen. That sort of crystallizes something I've been coming around to-- it is the little things that are important, the small ways we act positively, the way we ARE in the world. I think I even know that--I've said things like that before--but sometimes being able to say something and actually being able to live it are two different things. (predictably enough, I'm like my dad that way). My word for this week (not that I always have one, but I do right now) is surrender. I'm surrendering a number of things I've been trying to control, because it wasn't working.

Anonymous said...

It's taken me a lot of years to figure out that I wasn't just wasting my life, wasting my education. I wasn't in a profession, true, but I don't think that education was wasted; it was enriching my life and allowing me to enrich the lives of those around me, especially my children. So surrendering (good word, Barb!) that idea of You Must Have Achievements that Show Up on the Resume, (and damn didn't that go down fighting!) and trying to set my focus on what makes life worth living has allowed me to be much more at peace with my life. It hasn't surrendered totally, sometimes it still pokes its head up (I'm not dead yet!) but I'm working on it.

KarenB said...

That wasn't Anonymous, that was me. Karen.