I spent the last few hours of the year playing games and eating good food with friends at a small gathering. At 11 I headed home to wrap up the year alone, reflecting on all that I have accomplished and all that I am looking forward to in the year to come. I wrote intentions, consulted the cards, ate a satsuma and some good chocolate, and cuddle with my dog. It felt like the perfect way to end my year of self-care. With love and joy and intention.
I started 2013 by taking a bubble bath and reading by candlelit. Starting another year of self-care off right.
Now that the year is complete, I won’t be writing here anymore. I will be tracking my self-care in other, less public ways and dreaming up more projects for the years to come, and plan to look back on this blog as a tool and a reminder.
I am proud of myself for completing this project; for making self-care an integral part of my year and life. I have learned so much about myself, my community, and the way I want to go through my days. For me, self-care is vital.
I am looking forward to what the future holds, for all of us.
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
So, I wasn’t going to write here today as I’ve been taking a bit of space from the internet (some self-care right there) but then I realized that today, Monday, April 9th, is the 100th day of this project!! And that just feels like a milestone I couldn’t pass on.
Today marked the second week of my new term at school, which meant a 13+ hour day between work, school, and commute. I’m surprised to say that it went really well and I don’t feel like I want to tear my hair out or cry or anything of the sort. I think the good weather helped, as well as having really delicious homemade food to eat. And getting adequate sleep, although I do need to be better about going to bed early on Sunday nights for the rest of the term I think. Now I’m snuggled up with the little dog, my heating pad, and a book not related to school at all with plans to be asleep in less than an hour.
Some things I’m thinking about as I move into the next 265(6) days of this project:
More time away from the internet
More time in the sunshine/spent outside
More cooking and good food
More quality, intentional, grounding friend time
Prioritizing my time in general/not compromising what matters most to me
More witchy woo spiritual practice happening
More kink/leather exploration
Moving! and creating my dream home with my plp, Wyatt
Today was the last class of my first term of graduate school.
The quarter went by so fast. I feel like I learned so much information, my head felt like exploding at times. I also am just really excited about my program still. I was a little worried that the reality of it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, or that it would be too much, but so far, I am really really happy with my decision to be in this program. It is a lot of work, honestly more than I originally expected, but I am expanding in ways as an educator that are so exciting for me.
I’m proud of myself for doing this. For making this decision, loving myself enough to pursue grad school, and believing in myself enough to be really present for it. And for doing it well.
One quarter down, five more to go and I’ll have my special education license. I’m so looking forward to what the rest of the program has in store.
I kind of can’t believe that it’s the end of January already, and that I’m a solid month into this project. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself already. And that day by day, I’m getting better at taking care of myself, prioritizing my needs, cutting myself some slack, and healing my heart.
I’ve been surprised at how writing this blog has turned into a major part of my self-care. I mean, I kind of figured it would be important, but being accountable to myself in this way is really good. I find I’m more likely to stick to my intentions because I have this working document waiting for me.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about how I want to move forward for the next 11 months. So far, I’ve just been going about my days and haven’t had any real focus or direction to the self-care I’ve been doing other than making sure I do it. I like the organic process of this project, and I knew going into it that I would be developing it and changing it up as I went along. Dividing actions into acts of self-love and self-care goals has been really useful for me to categorize some of what I’ve been doing. Acts of self-love have emerged as larger, overarching concepts, whereas self-care goals are more like the practical application of these concepts. I want to continue to work with these ideas in a more organized way.
For February and beyond, I’ve decided to work within a theme for the month. The theme will focus on one or two acts of self-love, with each day comprised of one or more self-care goals that fall under/support that specific act. My hope is that by focusing more intensely on a certain area for a concentrated amount of time, I will be able to develop better habits of self-care in that area for the future.
I also want to incorporate more art into the project. My goal for February in this regard is to illustrate some of my favorite days from January as an artistic document of this project. Hopefully at the end I’ll be able to put together a little zine with highlights from each month.
So, without further ado, the act of self-love for February is:
love your body. everyday. no exceptions.
More on my plans for implementing this act tomorrow!
Today I cooked up a storm instead of doing all of the reading I should have been doing for class (I’ll get to it eventually, I swear). Sometimes, (no wait, always) sustenance wins. And I mean the kind of cooking that feeds not only you and your friends,but also your soul. The kind of food that makes you excited, that you can’t wait to make again because it is just that good. The kind of cooking that will keep me sane for the week. Through work and school and appointments and bills and the daily grind that gets in the way of me eating as well as I should.
This evening, I made myself a yummy dinner with enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Lamb kabobs (pre-marinated, but still), sauteed fennel and quinoa. lamb and fennel are on the list of foods my acupuncturist recommended, and I’m trying to incorporate these foods into my diet as much as possible.
I also made stuffed cabbage with my housemate:
mostly for freezing so that I’ll have something to fall back on. I used the recipe from smitten kitchen with some tweaks from how my mom makes it (I didn’t have her recipe on hand). The rolls turned out pretty good, but I think next time I’ll just get my mom’s recipe. It’s a nostalgia thing.
I really love cooking with friends. It’s one of my favorites. My housemate and I are a really good team, and he’s one of my favorite people to cook with (and not just because he let’s me be the kitchen top). I want to spend more time in the coming months cooking with others. It’s such a great way to do self-care together.
We also made the most amazing rice crispy treats ever. i’m not even kidding about it, they are out of control good.
“Instead of running away from our loneliness and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and turn it into fruitful solitude…Loneliness is painful; solitude is peaceful. Loneliness makes us cling to others in desperation; solitude allows us to respect others in their uniqueness and create community.” -Henri Nouwen (as read in All About Love)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the art of being single. Of being alone. How sometimes, I forget how good it is for me. How I can get stuck in the loneliness of it, and forget to celebrate, embrace, and enjoy the here and now. How, actually, I’m really fucking happy. And how yes, I do want to love someone in intense, profound ways again someday, when I’m ready.
And so today I watched this video again. And reminded myself that I’m worthy of my love.
“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” -bell hooks, All About Love
I started going to counseling back in September or October, just as my 4+ year relationship was beginning to end. Counseling has helped me work through some really tough, vulnerable, heart-breaking things these past few months, and I’m so thankful that I am able to go regularly and that I have a counselor I feel really comfortable with. It was a huge step just to seek such outside support, and I’m glad I loved myself enough during such a difficult time to do it. And while I don’t think therapy is for everyone, and I totally have my own hang-ups around it, for me, it has been life/heart-saving.
So today I had counseling. I recently started going every other week, so it had been a bit since I saw my counselor last. And the session today was intense. I felt raw again in ways I haven’t felt in a while. Things came up that I thought had already been dealt with and new hurts were revealed. She referred to it as “the second wave,” and it definitely felt like a wave crashing into me, trying to knock me down.
In some ways it was totally devastating and in others really transformative. I think that’s the power of counseling for me.