December. The last month of the year, and the last month of this project. I can’t believe it is nearly over, and yet January of this year truly feels a world away. My goal for the month is to write here daily again, even if it is just a one line statement about what self-care looked like for that day.
Today self-care looked like buckling down and completing hours worth of homework. I finished the majority of my assignments for the term and only have three left to complete by Wednesday. Totally doable, and it feels so good to be so close to done. And then I let myself forget about homework for the rest of the night and spent time with friends watching Breaking Dawn Part 1 (an utterly ridiculous movie, so bad it was good), eating yummy food, and crafting. All in all, a pretty great Saturday.
November has been the hardest month. I think it is the change in weather. The darkness. Mercury Retro. So much cosmic shit. And so many emotions. About the past, and the future, and the present. I’ve been trying to right my ship in the storm of November, with small acts of self-love and community care. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
- Cooking with friends and feeding myself and others nourishing, loving meals
- Intentional rest/taking naps as needed
- Watching so many movies snuggled up with my dog
- Reading books for pleasure instead of doing homework
- Making art/crafting pretty much daily
- Starting to go to Fat Yoga
- Being vulnerable and feeling all the feelings
- Consulting the tarot
- And reading this, from virgo magic
went to the ocean for the day.
found a waterfall. had really important friend time. breathed the sea air.
the cure for anything is salt water-sweat, tears, or the sea. -isak dinesen
I haven’t written here in over a month. I’ve been trucking on with this project and honoring my original intentions, but I haven’t been up for writing about it or documenting it. Which in some ways feels like a bummer, but in other ways feels okay. I think something I have learned from this near year (can you believe it?) project is to just be gentle with myself. Which sometimes means that I don’t write here for a month or more. I have intentions of getting back on track and writing more for the next 55 days, but if I don’t do it, it won’t be the end of the world either.
I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care and what it means for me now that I’m nearing the end of this project. I’m still figuring it all out, and while this project is intensely personal, it has also been about my community and how we take care of each other. My most memorable, heart-filling self-care has actually been more about intentional time with friends and supporting one another (and there is often food involved) so that we can get through the next day, week, month just a little bit easier. And I think ultimately that is what I will take away from this year: self-care for me is community care.
Here is a much more eloquent article on a similar topic by the brilliant Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. As a chronically ill, working class femme myself, these words truly resonated. Please check it out and support her if you’re able.
Self-care looks like dancing.
Went out dancing on a Friday night for a change. And I’m so glad I did. It felt so good to move my body for hours to good music and get hot and sweaty. Dancing in a sea of babes/dancing with femme friends. Feeling glad I went out even though Fridays are really hard for me after a long week of work. Totally worth it. And I’m realizing I need to go out dancing more. I’ve missed it, and it is really important for me to be present in my body like that as much as possible.
New goal: go out dancing once a month. Totally attainable and worth it!
The final weekend before school begins. I’m ready and I’m not ready, I guess. I really tried to make friend time a priority this weekend while also emphasizing low-key, solitary times to get my head in the game for school. I had an epic brunch full of delicious home-grown and homemade food with Lisa, a crafternoon with Jessika and Kernan, baking time, a fatty picnic with lovely folks, reading for pleasure, and time chatting with a few out-of-town dear ones.
eggs benny with hollandaise, collards, and tomato on challah, fried purple potatoes, arugula salad with apple, fennel, asiago, and a basil vinaigrette and homemade chai. (most of it came from our respective gardens!)
my first apple pie! apples are from the tree in my front yard!
pear and granola muffins. These are so good! We had some pears going bad and I whipped these up super quick to make use of them. I will definitely make them again.
Now it’s off to bed early in preparation for my 14 hour day tomorrow!
Also, how is it that there are less than 100 days left in this year? Seriously, how did that happen?
Today self-care looked like going to the dentist.
I tend to write mostly about the self-care I do that makes me feel good, or is fun, or is tender/heart-filling. Mainly because well, it makes me feel good, and I want to share it and document it. But also because it is generally much prettier/nicer/easier than talking about health stuff, or the more mundane day-to-day self-care that I’m also actively working on. But self-care for me is also always about taking care of my body, and sometimes that means doing things that really freak me out like going to the dentist. So I wanted to put it down in this project too.
I haven’t had my teeth cleaned in years. I have so much shame around this fact. I didn’t have dental insurance for a long time, and I couldn’t afford to take care of my teeth the way I wanted to. When I finally could afford to get a cleaning, I was so embarrassed about how long it had been that I just kept putting it off (totally counterproductive, but there you have it). So embarrassment turned to fear and I just felt so stuck about it. But since I got the job I have now, and finally have somewhat decent insurance, I have made it a priority to take care of my teeth; to take a deep breath and push past what was stopping me. I sobbed the first time I went to the dentist again. I’ve had numerous cavities taken care of and today I had the first half of a big deep cleaning done. I go back on Wednesday for the second half. It is my goal from here on out to keep up with regular cleanings and be even better about home care. And I will try my best not to let my fear get the best of me again.
Went to see the swifts and had family dinner picnic-style. An annual Portland tradition.
Delicious food, the sweetest friends, my favorite two year old, and thousands of birds.
Share what you love.
Today Jessika and I set up our art installation at Not Enough! We presented our preserved food as an interactive art piece. It felt so good to get to share our hard work with our community and to receive so much positive feedback about it. We’re heading back tomorrow for the second day and have even more delicious things to share.
My artist statement about the project:
My family has been preserving food for generations. Some of my earliest memories are of picking wild blueberries and grapes to be turned into jelly. I learned to can from helping my gramma and dad every year in the kitchen. They would make huge vats of antipast from my great-grandmother’s recipe, sweet and spicy Hungarian peppers, tomato juice and sauce, and a wide variety of jelly depending on what fruit was available cheap or free. Using what they have taught me, I have spent the summer utilizing ingredients, learning new recipes, and putting up jar after jar of preserved food that will sustain me and my friends in the seasons to come. Every jar honors where I have come from, grounds me in the moment it was created, and sustains me into the future with love and intention.
And some photos of our sweet display:
*all photos by jessika fancy
I have an epic post in the works from when my amazing gramma was in town, but I haven’t had the chance to finish it as I was traveling and am now back to work for the school year. But soon!!