Archives for posts with tag: just say no

It’s morning. I’ve already gotten sucked into reading the news and found myself being baited into reacting to this or that with, of course, outrage. The media stokes the reactive side of our nature, because in reactions are ratings – and consumer spending. It’s that simple. I let it go, again.

I found myself baited into outrage via Facebook a short time later. I let it go. Again. It’s too early to tilt at windmills. I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee. I pull myself free, and make a point to sign off. It’s a good day for a digital detox. I’ve no desire to let my devices dictate my day, or my experience. 🙂

Well, sure. This.

Well, sure. This.

Twice more I find myself pulled into emotional reactions that aren’t really anything to do with me, directly; I am reacting to the outrage machinery on which the media relies so heavily. I let it go. Again. And then again. I sign out of more stuff. I sip my coffee and redirect my attention to my own experience, right now – this one, here – and take note of a couple things I’d like to get done today, for me. It’s a short list, and I smile at it, wondering if today might be the sort of day that nothing on the list gets done… I’ve no interest in being pinged on by the world, frankly, and our messy tedious ongoing social issues are commonly of a sort that are willfully chosen, inflicted on all by a few, and entirely easily resolvable – if we chose to do so as a body politic. That seems unlikely to happen today. Perhaps instead of fussing over all that, I simple get started with the weekend…maybe head to the trees for the day, and put some miles on my hiking boots?

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I take some minutes to consider forest trails…

Date night was called off last night, due to my traveling partner potentially being contagious; his Other is sick. I definitely don’t want to get sick while I am likely to do interviews. It made sense to change our plans. I enjoyed a quiet evening, and got a good night’s rest. Both are experiences I enjoy. I miss my traveling partner. I smile thinking of him, looking forward to the next time we’re together.

Where

Where will life’s journey take me?

Yesterday I was in a lot of pain. Today less so. The reduction in pain makes everything seem easier. Yesterday I couldn’t bend low to empty the dishwasher. Small things. I feel eager to hit the trail, this morning and realize that I’ve made my decision about the day, without being aware that I had; I’m already distracted from writing, from making my list, from drinking my coffee – even distracted from the outrage engine working tirelessly to get my attention on The Next Terrible Thing. I’m plotting my journey, staring intently at a map unfolded in my lap… keyboard, blog post, world…all but forgotten.

It's a good day to walk on.

It’s a good day to walk on.

I think today I’ll head for the trees. 🙂

I’ve got a solo weekend. I slept well, and comfortably, and even slept a couple more hours after waking at the usual time, taking my morning Rx, and returning to bed. It isn’t always  possible to return to sleep, and this morning it was lovely to wake slowly, much later, and enjoy the slow unfolding of body and mind as my consciousness booted up for the day. My coffee is delicious – a medium Americano, at 203 degrees, no sugar, no milk – just hot, smooth, and rich. No headache this morning. Rain pouring just beyond the partially open window; I love listening to the falling rain and smelling the freshness of the air outside. It is a very nice Saturday morning so far.

Oregon winter, stormy, and mild.

Oregon winter, stormy, and mild.

I am alone this weekend. This is not significant, it simply is. I enjoy solitude, generally, and I am feeling content and satisfied with my solitary state.

I am in a lot of pain. This is significant, not because it is unusual, but because it is an element of my experience that is pretty typical, day-to-day, varying in intensity far more often than ever really going away. This morning, I am in enough pain that at other points in my life the entirety of the first paragraph could not have existed side-by-side with the pain, itself. I’ve learned a lot more about taking care of me, and over time I am building self-care practices that even stand up to the departures from routine that sometimes result from things like … having a weekend alone. Oh yeah. It wasn’t so long ago that having a solo weekend would result in over-indulging on favorite treats, not sleeping well due to staying up late to read, watch movies, or wander, overlooking timing on timing-sensitive medications… just generally completely letting myself down with regard to actually taking good care of myself. Wallowing in self-indulgence is not self-care. That’s a pretty important understanding.

I love, for example, gummy sweets. I don’t much care if they are bears, drops, fish, worms, fruits, or healthy… I love gummy candy. They are now what they must be (for me) – a rare treat, in very very small portions. I don’t respond well to quantities of refined sugar. (Your results may vary.) I also tend to overdo it on gummy sweets – I know that first hand. I also know that even casual use of refined white sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, or any similar sugars quickly increases my emotional volatility, sometimes correlates to unexpected tantrums, moodiness, and a basic feeling of not being ‘well’.  Good self-care means I continue to avoid gummy sweets when I am enjoying time on my own, just as I would en famille – accountability can’t be the sole driver of self-care (at least for me; it just doesn’t work.) That was a hard lesson to learn.

I practice good practices, even when I am enjoying a solo weekend, these days; I am capable of learning from my mistakes. Last night, feeling restless on a mild night, I walked 5 miles in the evening air rather than walking the aisles of the nearby grocery store looking for exotic treats for an evening nosh. Instead of indulging in a rich meal of favorite treats that do me no good, I enjoyed the healthy simple fare I generally do these days. I meditated. I did some yoga. I did more of the good things that care for my body and spirit, rather than fewer. Isn’t that really the thing? Investing in my own needs when I have more time to do so is an effort best spent on what really nurtures me – rather than childishly revolting against the sensible limits and restrictions I have chosen to place on myself to meet my needs over time, simply because ‘no one is watching’.

I wish I were so perfectly perfect that I didn’t need reminders, or could simply rest gently on what I have learned, confident my good practices would never fail me… I am not so perfect. I start fresh each morning, and do my best each day. I acknowledge missteps along the way, dust myself off when I stumble and keep on walking. I got here, because I make progress over time – and the journey isn’t finished. I invest will and study in gaining perspective, finding balance, and learning good self-care practices that nurture and heal me, over time. There are verbs involved. There is no ‘easy’. There is no ‘finish line’. There is no ‘win’ that amounts of finality and acknowledgement. Those aren’t criticisms, or something to be blue about; they are my endless opportunity for change, and for improving on what is, to become the woman I most want to be, and to find wellness and meaning along the way. Choices are right there to be chosen…choosing well, and following through on intention with will, and action… well… sometimes that requires a sticky note, or an alarm, or a calendar reminder, or something planned with a favorite friend. That’s okay too; this weekend, I am practicing my best practices for taking care of me.

Brunch with a friend; a very nice way to stick to a self-care routine. :-)

Brunch with a friend; a very nice way to stick to a self-care routine. 🙂