Confession: I took a day off of work when I was not sick. Not because of fun travel plans or to attend any kind of professional development what-have-you. I took a day off of work because I was afraid that if I went in for that 10+ hours, I was going to lose it. I knew in my gut that I would make some kind of bad interpersonal choice that would at minimum blow my coworkers’ opinions of me to pieces.
Call it a “mental health day” if you want. I called it a F— You Day, because it made me feel better.
(This is where I should back up a step and explain that I’m not really cursing out my employer. In fact, I’m quite grateful to have a nice, steady paycheck after my life got blown to pieces this summer and actually have no intention of leaving my job any time soon. But the bad juju brewing for the last few weeks finally boiled over. I found myself literally having to pinch my lips shut to keep from spewing some relationship-changing nastiness upon all who dared enter my space.
That, my friends, is what gets the F— You. I refuse to put up with bad juju.)
Turns out what started as an F— You Day ended as the date with myself I’d been putting off since starting Molly’s Fierce Love course. I got up, went to get some coffee, and planted myself on the couch to read.
I ate lunch without watching TV, reading, or doing something online. And for the first time in a long time, I can actually tell you what I ate without having to think about it.
I alternated between reading and writing (OK, fine, and watching General Hospital) for the afternoon.
I took myself out to dinner–again, relatively distraction free–and then to a crystal bowl meditation class. (Which, by the way, I highly recommend if you’re willing to check your assumptions at the door and give it an honest try. Major good vibes.)
And then a really funny thing happened: I went home and fell directly asleep. Not because I was exhausted, but because I was finally relaxed enough to just listen to what my body was telling me. I simply needed to rest.
I think that’s the lesson I really needed to learn from the first week of Fierce Love, which is all about the concept of self-care.
I’m not a girly girl by any stretch of the imagination. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that “self-care” used to equate to “mani/pedi, gossip, and cocktails” in my head–things I don’t either enjoy or participate in most of the time.
Maybe it’s not about indulgence or girliness or flat-out decadence. It’s not about doing what other people find to be relaxing. Maybe this whole self-care thing is really about stopping to listen to what my gut is saying:
“Hey there, remember me? The part of you that used to feel alive and purposeful? Quit ignoring me, will ya?”
Brick image credit: Stephen Boisvert