Self Care

Self care is a buzz word these days, isn’t it? Everybody talks about it…but I realized recently I spent a year ignoring the idea of taking time for myself, not my career.

I’ve been trying to do a lot, to really push myself to work hard and accomplish stuff, and that’s all been quite vague and based on who calls and how I feel and making sure that I feel like I’m doing worthwhile things. And I’ve been enjoying that, but lately it’s really been sticking in my head that I am in charge of my life. Duh, you say, but really, when you spend so much time doing things based on who calls or what you get asked to do, or what you get lucky enough to, life feels like it’s definitely out of your control. And I react by trying to control what I can.

But, I can decide many things. I can decide what’s important to me. I am pondering over what to do with the next 20 years of my career and where I see myself then. And while, I really have no idea…I am attempting to imagine it.

And then I’m trying to grab time where I can, like now. This morning I’m taking a little me time to read and relax, and blog.  And then I do a bunch of teaching, and sometimes I dread that, but I’m really coming to some terms and realizations about where my teaching strengths lay and what sort of students I do best with.

What am I reading lately? I’ve been obsessively reading “cozy mysteries”.  I’ve read loads of Mary Daheim’s Alpine series and Bed and Breakfast series, Donna Andrews, Lynn Cahoon, and now working through Leslie Meier’s Lucy Stone books. I find the simplicity and less graphic nature of the cozy mystery genre is a nice contrast to the news and current political stress and strife.

I also find keeping written lists of things that make me feel accomplished is good. I spend too much of my life feeling like an underachieving imposter so I find it’s good to have something to see and say, okay, just because I’m not touring the world doesn’t mean I’m a loser. And I’m reminding myself, often, that I am not the problem if somebody thinks I’m not good enough. And trying to internalize that. I am good enough. I work hard. I play violin well…and I’m reliable and organized and many of my students think I’m funny Smile

One other self care thing: I’ve been using LOTS of moisturizer this winter. All kinds of fancy face lotions, but lots of hand and feet lotion as well. I’m kind of enjoying the fact that I’m getting older, but I want to be a well moisturized 40 year old when I get there.

Oh! The plumbers are here doing plumbing and whatnot. The bathroom project is very behind schedule but so much progress is being made this week. I miss teaching at home and I hope to get back to it very soon. Another reason to just try to relax and take things as they go.

And exercise. Exercise and eating well are important to feeling good. Self care means taking time for those things too. But it’s hard to do everything, isn’t it? I just have to remind myself, often, that I’m worth it Smile Reading, relaxing, working out, eating lots of delicious salads, these are all worth it.