Yes, yes, of course. Self care is quite the catch phrase lately, so much so that at this point I feel like its actual meaning has been replaced with a pop culture meaning, which is spend lots of money on things like spa days or brand name items and give yourself permission to ignore other people’s needs in the name of putting yourself first.
I’m not against spa days or buying brand name items, and I’m not against putting ourselves first sometimes, but this pop version of self care is a disguise and a ruse that makes us believe that by spending money or neglecting other people we’ll feel better. And many of us will — but fleetingly — and at what price? The pop version of self care is a hollow way of taking care of yourself.
But in 2019, I’m going to focus a lot more on self care — or simply taking care of myself — and to do that, I am seeking the magic ingredient: balance. Balance in everything: my work life, my social life, my home life, my inner life, my health, all of it as much as I can. And it’s going to be hard. Because to be balanced, truly balanced, is nearly impossible.
Balance is ephemeral, a moment of suspended grace. It’s not a permanent position, but it’s one worth striving for.
Balance — or an attempt at balance — requires self-awareness, self-forgiveness, optimism, and even a sense of humor. Because I know with my achiever tendencies I’ll want to “Be Balanced” right away and I’ll want to feel like I’m doing it right and making the right decisions all the time. But that’s the beauty — and the difficulty — of balance. There’s no one way to do it, and the path to balance transforms day to day.
One day balance may mean listening to a friend, really listening, with that still attentiveness and no agenda other than to be there. Another day it may mean taking on the center of attention while retelling a hilarious story. One day it may mean pushing myself really hard at a work out and one day it may mean staying home to rest. It may mean working till 9pm on Tuesday and leaving right on time to go out with a friend on Wednesday. It’s tricky. It’s unpredictable. Whatever it is it’s an approach at walking through life, not as a person frozen in perfect balance — whatever that would look like! — but as a living being responding to the world and her own inner voice and doing her best to make adjustments in loving, good humor.