This may sound like the basic stuff of pedicures and bubble baths but when I look at the course of my life, self-care—let alone exquisite self-care—is barely an afterthought. Sometimes I notice the void in my life’s design and shrug off the dissatisfaction as I snuggle deeper into the exhaustion I shroud around my shoulders.
I pride myself in sacrifice and superhuman feats of derring-do often pulled off moments before the train smashes into my life. I respond solely to emergencies and create them so that I can get things done while being the hero that saved the day for everyone, just not me.
Even now, I panic at the idea of engaging in an extraordinary act of exquisite self-care every day for the month of June. That is, until I realize that any act of self-care will be extraordinary in my world of putting myself aside to get things done, make things better, be there for you, be a contribution and more and more and more. The question here is can I do all those things without sacrifice? Can I exist as the creature I love to be in the world without the depletion and lovelessness of martyrdom? I have no babies. Maybe I should stop acting like I do or maybe I should be my own baby?
What is exquisite self-care? What isn’t?
Exquisite self-care calls for me to put myself in front of friends, family, work, love at least once a day and do something that makes me happy, has my heart singing, making me my own beloved…every day. It involves doing the things I stopped doing for myself because they kept getting in the way of results. Exquisite self-care isn’t about shirking responsibility or foregoing promises. It is not being lazy and avoiding life and things. It isn’t easy. It is me finally going the distance to be my own hero and save the day for myself.
I work from home with a workday has no defined beginning or end. It often feels endless and involves pushing especially on empty. While it’s really cool to point out all that I accomplish on an empty gas tank, I decided to switch to a fuel-efficient practice: I made sure I ate, showered and read my Bible before engaging in any business today. I had a lovely moment of ease and calm all about me. Simple, yes. Neglected, often.
The next 29 days
I will celebrate each act, big or small, and share them periodically. For extra credit, I’ll see if I can do some practices every day and see where that gets me. Bonus: Have someone tell me they love me everyday. Someone already did today. Wonder about tomorrow.
Each act is a reclaiming of chunks of soul, home, joy I’ve filed away for later, one day, someday. That is my extraordinary. What is yours?