Self-Care 101: Lucky Charms or Chardonnay?

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

–Anne Lamott

As I sit down to write this I feel pleased. I finished my bowl of Lucky Charms to tide me over while my uncooked steak acclimates to room temperature to make sure it cooks evenly. Learn something new every day.

There was a time in my life, not long ago, when the only food I could consume was overly cooked green vegetables, eggs and bone broth. Those were the days. Probably some of the worst days of my life. But, here I am, 2 years later, eating cereal, going to work from 8-5 and living the dream.

In my circle of friends, the phrases “self-care” and “self-love” circulate with great frequency. Shouldn’t self-care just be called liv-ing? I mean, in order for us to really live and enjoy life, we have to take care of ourselves. We learned this growing up. We brushed our teeth, did our homework, showered sometimes, and honored our circadian rhythms by going to bed at a decent hour. So, why as adults is there such a need for us to discuss the topic of self-care?

This American Life

I am very recently adapting back into the lifestyle of working 8-5, Monday-Friday in an office. After much wandering and running around, I needed something stable. So, the universe presented me with the bare minimum of my requirements and I accepted. Based on this new 40-hour work week structure, self-care is in fact a greater challenge. When I worked from home, it was easier to cook meals and do laundry on breaks, and my stress was certainly lower. I had much more control over my environment and my productivity. I typically didn’t need to work 40 hours, because I got my work done much more efficiently.

If you factor in the 30 minutes to an hour commute every day, you are spending up to 10 hours centered around work. You have your time in the car for singing, and a possible self-care podcast or audiobook, but overall your life is centered around work. If you get home by 6pm, you have some time to feed yourself and possibly others and maybe an hour or two to wind down before you start over the next day. If you love your job or your passionate about your own business, this lifestyle could work well for you. But for others, you may spend time counting down the hours till Friday.

Balance

Did you know that when you cook a steak you are suppose to heat the pan in the oven first and then sear it on both sides, broil it, sear it again, broil it again, and let it rest? So time consuming! Because I splurged and got my hair did yesterday, I am making the sacrifice of not eating out for a week to afford my hair-do. I have spent half the day “meal-prepping.” I also chose to re-incorporate the meal-prep on Sundays because I have actually missed cooking, and I am working on incorporating things I love into my daily life.

When I got back from my rambling, adjusting to regular life was pretty rough for me. I went from hiking all the trails to no more hiking or mountains, working, sitting in the car, going to yoga, and sleeping. Let me tell you that my spirit has taken a beating, and I am pro-actively improving my situation.

A part of creating a life for yourself that works is knowing yourself. So far I have figured out the places I’d like to live, and I am getting closer to pulling the trigger towards a completely different career path in order to achieve my ideal schedule and lifestyle. I’m still getting to know myself. After many years spent trying to fit in, I broke away for exploration, and now I am working on creating some sort of balance.

Most of us stumble into a groove, a career, and we keep it that way because it’s comfortable. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. I’ve been lucky and unfortunate enough to have my life fall apart and/or almost die so many times that I get to rebuild my life from scratch. My biggest issue over the past couple of years was simply that I didn’t want to build anything and I didn’t really know how. I didn’t know what I wanted, so it made sense to basically live out of my car, wander, cry, try new things, make new friends, laugh, and hike, hike, hike.

IMGP1088

I miss the trees.

After a long week of phone calls, meetings, emails, printing and recycling papers (that’s most desk jobs, right?) like a good, white, American woman I went to yoga and watched Netflix when I went home. I couldn’t decide between wine or Lucky Charms, so I just poured myself a glass and a bowl. Interestingly enough, my tastebuds preferred the Lucky Charms. And yes I took the liberty of comparing net carbs and sugar. Guess what? They’re about the same! So I enjoyed my sober movie and was in bed by 11 PM.

My grandma called today. I vented about how I don’t have anything beautiful to photograph anymore now that I’m in Texas, and she said I’m just not looking. “There are always beautiful things.” She has an eye for beauty, and if she doesn’t see it, she creates it, sometimes in the form of decorating her home to mirror the images of Country Living Magazine. (I love you Nana!)

Back to the daily grind! May our highest goods be served, may we all live in harmony, and may we all remember to practice good self-care.

 

 

 

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