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2 months ago

795 words

Photo: Chicken Tortilla soup. I loved it! It was hearty and warm and yummy. The men in my life… preferring meat and starch and green on plate (imagine that in cave-man voice), were not fans, which is… inconvenient.

 

This felt like a weekend when people were almost gleeful to talk about anything else but the elephant in the room. Football, weather, how bad the neighbor’s yard looks, why there are so many squirrels out, omg turkey and shark attacks… anything, anything to not to talk about that you know what involving you know who last week.

Listen, I’m down for the game. Sure, let’s talk Halloween decorations and Christmas card photoshoots. Let’s talk about your hate-drinking pumpkin spice lattes (haters goin’ hate). Let’s talk about fall foliage. Let’s exchange apple recipes. I’m here for it.

I woke up on Saturday and declared it an official Day Off. The Husband was responsible for making me breakfast, taking care of the children and getting me my deferred birthday dinner. I spent my day basting the baby quilt:

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Just so you know, basting a quilt is basically planking while sewing for a few hours.

The Husband did a great job with my pancakes and keeping the boys out the house. Dinner, which was very, very bad sushi, was less than optimal. Should have opted for Bon Chon. I’ll remember next time.

Yesterday, the entire morning was devoted to church, which is fine. I ended up LEMing again because someone needed a pinch hitter. I was supposed to run a meeting right after, but was rescued by two of my committee members, which gave me the time I needed to get to the store and get supplies for soup. I asked my husband to build a fire and I sat in front of it and knitted until my fingers cramped.

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Self-care is the new fun buzzword of our time. It’s been usurped and made into a culture until itself. “Treat yourself” has long been a thing, and now “self-care” is the newly commercialized iteration of it. “Practice self-care by buying this thing or signing up for this thing” is making someone a hell of a lot of money. But real and actual self-care isn’t an indulgence. It’s a declarative and instinctual stepping away from the things that deplete in order to shore up the spirit and find the internal energy to live to fight another day. Self-care is a declarative choice. Self-care is a continuous and disciplined practice. Self-care is sane survival.

Basically, what I’m trying to write is: if you declared that you weren’t going to participate or consume any more discussion about the events of last week and you were successful in doing so, congratulations. If you were able to nourish yourself by taking a real, actual break from things, congratulations. If you encouraged others to do the same, or simply lead by example, congratulations.

Be sure to do it again, because it’s going to be another long week. Before we collectively jump off the precipice, let’s reset.

It’s Monday, so today is the perfect day for declarations. I declare that I’m going to only consume 1 hour of news each day, even if it gets wild out there. I declare I’m not getting into Facebook fights with people and I’m not spending my whole week sharing and resharing articles I agree with. I declare that I’ll keep up so I’m informed, but I’m not sticking around to hear a string of opinions from the people on television. I declare that when the world sets my blood to racing, I’m really and actually going to turn away. There are podcasts to listen to (Levar Burton Reads is the best chicken soup for our life and times), there are audiobooks to listen to, there is fantastic television to watch (I know I’m late, but Bojack Horseman is amazing).

Remember, when you’re mentally exhausted, you can’t do any good. You can’t do your best thinking, you can’t do your best work. If “resistance” isn’t your flavor of living right now, fine. When you’re mentally exhausted, you can’t consume with due diligence, with proper navigation and negotiation of what is true and what is spin. When you’re exhausted, you can’t participate in the real and actual discussions that we need to have as a body politic. Belligerence hasn’t gotten us anywhere (on the levels above us or down here below).

So.

When I say “take care” at the bottom of this post, I mean it with sincerity. I need you to take care this week, Dear Reader, because I need you. And you need me, so I’m going to do the same.

Ok?

Here’s to the reset.

Here’s to a week of sane survival.

Until Wednesday, Dear Reader, take care.

One Reply to “Reset”

  1. I absolutely love your description of basting. In fact I posted it as a quote on my quilt guild’s FB page. The fussy cutting you did on that baby quilting is subtle but wonderful. Three fish and not a tail or head more. A perfectly centered egg…

    I agree with your parting message. Staying informed is part of being a responsible member of society. Gobbling up all the commentary, replays, and outrage doesn’t do anyone any good. It doesn’t bring down the wrong doers. It doesn’t change policy or even public opinion. It just poisons us, steals our hope and stomps on our joy. That may sound frivolous, after all, what’s joy when horrible things are being done by people in power? “Joy is our strength” according to Mother Teresa, and I’m not going to disagree with her.

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