Thursday, November 20, 2008

Self care


Back in this post I shared how difficult it is for me to plan for and purposefully do things to take care of myself. Recently I've struck on a fabulous solution to the problem. It's probably not a completely perfect plan but boy am I loving it.

It happened by accident. Superman often takes a morning and holes up in a Panera Bread or Starbucks to work on his reports on one of his days off. One day I was complaining to him that it's really tough to sit down and pay bills or do our budget without being interrupted. It's one of those jobs that takes four times as long each time I get interrupted (especially if a little person disrupts the stacks of receipts!) I've gotten used to being interrupted during almost anything else and it no longer bothers me... just this one activity. Sometimes naptime just isn't long enough or other things take priority. Superman mentioned how great it is to get away and do his reports in a distraction-free environment and recommended I do the same to pay the bills. I didn't waste any time accepting his offer and the next morning he and K spent some daddy/daughter time together while I sat at Panera and grinned contentedly (and did bills.)

This is the second week I've sat at this little table by the window and I hope it becomes a LONG-standing tradition. I do use the time to get our finances up to date but I also use it for much-needed me time. I've always needed time alone to process and recharge and "introspect." Being able to do this provides just that.

Especially now that I'm not working outside the home I'm unable to completely decompress and turn "off" when I'm at home. There's always something to do, always K to tend to, always something on my mind, always things shouting at me to start or finish or ignore in favor of doing something else more pressing. But here at Panera I not only have free Wi-Fi but I also don't care about the state of the carpet or tables or bathroom and I'm certainly not responsible for preventing anyone else in the building from decorating the walls with a pen.

Last week I came home a new person. I felt refreshed and renewed and threw myself into the old, boring, usual tasks with *gasp* uncharacteristic cheerfulness! The horizon looked bright. I was charged up and ready to serve my family without fighting the resentment that comes more often than I care to admit.

Who knew it would be something so simple? I didn't. I spent a long time thinking that if only Superman would do or say things differently or help me more then I wouldn't feel so rotten and miserable. I've spent most of my life forcing myself into certain molds that I thought were acceptable or logical with little attention to how I am actually put together. I'm bad at paying attention to myself and very good at overriding or discounting my feelings or responses to things in order to do things I deem more "sensible." I hope this is the first of many discoveries about myself and how I function. It's freeing!

My cafe mocha is almost done so I need to get started on those bills. Tra-la! (To quote my beloved grandmother.)


  1. Sometimes alone time is all the good soul needs to rejuvinate (but I bet you care a little about the state of the bathrooms but I get your point)

  2. Good for you! (And so like you (and me) to make your me-time not simply relaxing but also practical and productive!)