I am ready for a new year. Ready for new things to come. In the last months I have broken many of my own rules about getting enough sleep and exercise, enough rest, and taking each day as it comes, and am feeling the effects come back to me in self-loathing and poor mental health, so a clean start will be good.
I am tired of the battle of my mind. I feel like giving up. But Chin up buttercup, you don’t get to choose which mind will be yours.
I am not neurotypical, and processing the world and the social interactions of life is exhausting. When I am not careful, I can take it all on in waves and only see the failures, rather than anything good about me. I see the places where I get it wrong, messing up in my family and life, getting distracted, feeling lost and not understanding. I see how my illness effects my family. I begin to live from my weakness, rather than living in joy. And it all leads to more self-loathing, to more self-contempt.
Thankfully, I have been around the block a few times. I have lists and lists of things that help, and in the week leading up to Christmas I’m pulling them all out.
Self care for me means:
*Creative work in the morning
*Lots of sleep
*Knitting or crocheting
*Lying on the floor
*Looking at designs and patterns
*Sketching or painting for fun
*Reading books on creativity and devotion
*A well-written novel
*Reading poems every day
*Taking rhodiola rosea every day
*Decluttering with love (not self-contempt)
*Candles, oils, incense. Good smells and good light.
*Listening to music
*Practicing my mandolin
*Markets and shops with interesting curious things
And most of all,
*Gratitude and lists of things I love to pull me out of bleakness
So here are some things I love. I love the way the light hits my kitchen in the afternoons. I love the expectation and breath of the holidays, the way Kenya sits and makes things every day to be ready. I love Isaac’s warm little body in the mornings. I love bricks and pinecones. The way my teenagers love to chat with me. Quirky people around my town. The garden in the late afternoon. Hands in the dirt. Crocheting my rainbow ripple blanket. Chopin. Blasting Handel’s Messiah from my outdoor kitchen so that I’m the weird neighbor. My other quirky neighbor who dances on the street every night. My elderly next-door neighbor's high, crackly voice, especially when she's talking to Wookie or her cats. Wookie. When Thai women smack me when they’re laughing at me. Chinua. Chinua. Chinua. The gray scruff on Chinua’s face. Chinua’s voice. The smell of his forehead. Leafy hugs in the mornings. Dear friends. Good things in the future. Good things for today.
I have not been left alone. The Spirit of God is with me. Even me, with my wild mind. Even with me, not able to relate in easy or intuitive ways. The Spirit of God comes and pulls me into the day and says, “Yes, together. Yes.”
What about you? Do you struggle with something that feels exhausting? What is your version of self care?
Now you can support my writing on Patreon. Patrons can give as little as a dollar a month, and get extra question and answer videos and day in the life posts. Your patronage shows your support for my writing, and it means so much to me. Thank you.
Patrons, This month's Q and A video will be up today! xoxo