So Im finally on my flight to Belize! I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while. My crazy school year has finally come to an end and couldn’t be happier. I need this in my life and I’m determined to keep a self-care focus throughout the trip. Wait, does blogging on a plane make me an official travel blogger? I’m kind of okay with that.
For those of you who don’t know, I work at a k-8 public school and our building got basically demolished by Hurricane Florence. My office in particular was fully flooded. It was. Great. Many of the families at my school lost their house or had to be relocated due to necessary repairs. As the social worker, it was my job to help support these families through the process. To say that this year was a hot mess is an understatement. But, on the other hand, I don’t think there’s any number that could sufficiently represent that amount of blessings that we all witnessed and experienced. It was a wild ride, indeed. That’s why I need this vacation so much.
I tend not to spend much time on my own self-care even though I spend an hour a week preaching in a self-care webinar and self care is my main focus with my clients. The irony of this does not surpass me. I need to take better care of myself. You need to take better care of yourself. We need to take better care of ourselves.
How twisted is that when we read articles about stuff like self-care, we tend to think of all of the other people in our lives who could benefit from it. We might even reach out to friends and say “hey, read this article” before we even take the time to finish reading it for ourselves. All of the things that I think would help me, I somehow immediately start connecting to helping others.
There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s AWESOME to inspire others. It’s healing to share things and watch others flourish. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t share valuable things with the people we love. I’m just saying that, from a self-care prospective, maybe we should try it out for ourselves too. When self-care bleeds into only taking care of others, we might have to take a step back and evaluate our own needs. We owe it to ourselves to be at least equally important as the other people in our lives.
Gotta love those not so new aha moments
Like many of my other recent revelations, this is not exactly rocket science. Though it does feel like quite an aha moment for me. But isn’t that how it usually works? Im starting to see that most what moments aren’t based on some extravagant new idea that no one has ever heard of. It’s usually more about reflecting on the messiness that we already understand all too well and reminding ourselves of how to make the best of it. You know what I’m talking about. Big, huge, life altering aha moments are usually just making sense of things we already knew.
I have never not known that I can do better when it comes to the world of self-care. (how an old rusty concept can feel like a revelation continues to boggle me) I just didn’t want to face it. The shoulds always get to me. Thinking about the fact that I should be practicing self-care just makes me feel lame and end up curling right back into the ball that I was so desperately trying to get out of.
That’s what we do to ourselves. Self-criticism is often the best and most effective form of self-sabotage. Whew, thats an aha moment in itself to add to my “one day I’m going to write a book” collection. That is, if it doesn’t drown in my vast pool of shoulds.
I really hope it doesn’t, though, because I feel like I’m onto something. We spend so much time trying to get what we don’t have that we forget to acknowledge the things that we already bring to the table. Imagine what your mind would feel like if you could replace the “shoulds” with “haves”.
The “With it Girls”
As we boarded this plane and sat down for the flight, the attendant called my friend and I the “with it girls”. Why? Because we preordered our meals online. Something that everyone on the plane had the option to do because everyone who exists has an email. You know what, though ? I didn’t do this immediately. I think I saw like 4 emails reminding me to click two buttons to select my entree. Every single time, I kept thinking “I should really do that”. It was on my should list. A should list is different than a todo list. A todo list helps you organize tasks, a should list helps you organize failures.
So when this lady called me a “with it girl” for doing something that I had to be reminded of four times?? Like what is that? Is this another aha moment? And why did I spend so much time shaming myself for it? Did everyone else on the plane feel equally as bad as I did or worse? I kinda think the only thought they had in their head was “chicken or salmon?”
For the rest of my vacation, when any should pops up in my head, I’m going to yell back at it, “I’ll have the lobster.”