In the hurricane that is the beginning of school, it can be tough to remember to “center.” With the additional duties I’ve taken on, voluntary and mandatory, I have several fewer hours for pausing, reflecting, planning — for me, basically. And so I’m going to have to become much more intentional about the time that I do have for “me.”
I don’t know why self-care is coming up as a vivid theme right now, but in its absence, I feel cranky, overtired, gluttonous, slothful — basically the whole range of mortal sins! And this is in stark contrast to the easeful, calm, focused, progressing person I’d like to be (and who is touted in my deepak/oprah meditations, like today’s on “daily happiness”).
I sometimes feel (fear) that the ideas of happiness and self-care are self-indulgent. I mean, of course they are! That’s their definition! But I suppose what I mean is that, in our culture, happiness and self-care — fulfillment — can curdle with a negative, airy-fairy dismissiveness.
Who am I to contemplate feeling calm in the middle of a work day? Who am I to contemplate homeownership in the middle of a gentrification/displacement era? Who am I to want to dig further into my gifts and talents when others are simply trying to survive?
Well, darling self, I’m alive — that is my punch card, my ticket, my birthright.
Simply by the object of being born at all as a human in this lifetime, I am allowed to contemplate, desire, grow, forge, and “become.” I don’t have to, sure. I can be shut down, numb, depressed, isolated, hopeless. I can be any and all of these things in a day!
But I have to know that it is a choice! I have a choice to seek my own happiness. Whether or not I’m taking advantage of that option.
There seems to be a pattern or blueprint for me toward forward movement (one that includes stillness). That pattern is one I’ve previously discovered via habits. When I determine a regularity in my life, day or hour, I have an anchor, a root system from which to grow.
When I find a moment, like one this week when I didn’t have to be out in the play yard, but chose to go because it was OUTSIDE and sunny and vibrant, that is a pebble I can stack in my Positive Habits Jar.
Enough of those pebbles stacked together and I can begin to do what enlivens me without as great or momentous effort.
As I build my path into and through this school year, what habits do I want to form? I’m gonna need something! For all my high-fallutin’ writing in that “Teacher’s Prayer,” I can assure you that I’ve done little along those lines. Praying to remember to take time for myself is not the same as actually taking it.
So while I need the reminder, I also need the action. And for me to take action … well, it’s time to break out the habit calendar.
Color coding, here I come!