Monday, November 6, 2017

You Say Self-Care, I Say Survival

Since The Great Shitshow of 2016, there's been a lot of talk in the world about self-care. This concept differs wildly from person to person--for some folks, it's taking a day to apply a $75 squid jizz mask, eat a vegan concoction of rhubarb and kale and chickpea innards, and meditate for three hours. For other folks, it's getting a mani-pedi, shopping at Kate Spade and Kendra Scott and Sephora, and then eating a leisurely lobster dinner. And then there are some folks that just take that time to do basic "I should do this every day but don't because I suck at adulting" shit. With poptarts. And wine.

Guess which category The Indy Grrl falls in?

Towards the end of my workweek last week,  I realized that I had an opportunity to clear my schedule and hunker down for the weekend. (My brilliant Eldest Sister calls this a Fuck Off World! Weekend, which I think is the most accurate, if not kindest, description.) And it was perfect timing--we were supposed to get rain all weekend. So that's what I did--promised myself 36 hours of "self care" and went so far as to commit to it on my planner, stocked up with some food essentials, and disappeared from the world.

Here's what these adventures in self-care looked like:

Gently Moving, Saturday Afternoon:
Usually I feel like I am constantly going-going-going, with half of my mind on the task at hand and half my mind scanning the horizon for the next thing to get done. Mindfulness, schmindfulness. But as I am coming home from the grocery store on Saturday afternoon, the brilliant scarlets and orange leaves against the stormy sky outside my apartment building catch my eye. With nowhere that I HAVE to be now, it seems like a perfect time to take an amble. 

Sleeping In and Having a Lazy Morning
The women in my family have several endearing talents; chief amongst them is our ability to sleep and sleep and sleep. And then sleep some more. As you can imagine, having to adhere to a schedule of...well, waking up at designated times really puts a cramp in our style. So any chance we have to not bow down and submit to the cruel mistress of our cell phone alarms, you can be damned sure we are grabbing it. So I've done just that, letting my body wake up on its own, natural-like. Amazingly, I manage to wake up at 9, but any smugness I feel is quickly banished when I realize that I'd forgotten that daylight savings time had ended, we had "fallen back" during the night, and my body feels like it's 10 a.m. No matter. I shrug it off, fix some coffee, light a candle, and creep back into bed for a couple of hours of YouTube and Interneting. 

A Little Bit of Productivity
My Eldest Sister believes that the ideal weekend includes a lot of puttering, in which nothing really gets accomplished, so she would be appalled at my approach. But I've got my own roll--my idea of a pampering weekend is one in which a LOT of stuff is accomplished, but none of it feels like work. Nothing too strenuous, but part of self-care is doing something to feel like your home is a haven and not a shithole. And so I clean for a bit, fold some laundry, do some dishes, change the sheets...with the help of my furry feline fuckers. 

Some Entertainment
So books! Much words! 

Pampering/Treat Yo'Self
I don't have a lot of fancy facial stuff on hand (alas--no squid jizz!) but there is some e.l.f. stuff I've been wanting to try, so today I took the plunge and used them. I wouldn't say my face felt transformed, but it did feel nice. 

Another treat--Brie, and some out-of-season-yet-still delicious berries. 

Not Dying
It's November here in the Heartland, and it's second storm season. Halfway through my Self-Care Day, the sky darkens, the atmosphere grows still, my phone buzzes with an emergency alert from the county, and the "torny warnies" start warbling their weird, wild wails. My housemate and I round up the disgruntled feline fuckers, as well as some wine and other boozy companions, and hunker down into the tiny little half-bath. 

Four hours later, second verse, same as the first. 

Fortunately, any tornadic activity went to the place known as Not Here. Nonetheless--at one point, I grouse to the Housemate, "This is NOT how I wanted this Self-Care Day to go!"
To which she responds, not inaccurately, "Survival is self-care."

You say self-care, I say survival. 

It's too bad that we have to take time to set aside, specially, for self-care. In a perfect world, it's part of our daily routine. In a perfect world, we don't have to clear our schedule for a day of it. In a perfect not the world we live in. The world I live in is chaotic and busy and I am a flawed inhabitant of this world, but I survive it as best I can. I could do better, I could do worse. But I have to move through this world believing that I deserve to treat myself to some kindness, to some survival, to some quality of life. I invite you to do the same. To take care of others, we gots to take care of ourselves first. 

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