It’s easy, especially as we get older and life becomes more chaotic, to start putting things off. Often, self care is one of the first things we place on the back burner. Developing that fitness routine can wait, right? The hobby you’ve always wanted to pursue can happen once life settles down. When things are less busy, I can begin to live the life I want. These are the things we tell ourselves, but I’m curious. Have any of you ever actually arrived at that moment where life slowed down for you and the time effortlessly presented itself for whatever you wanted to pursue? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the cases where this occurred are probably few and far between.
The life I have chosen for myself at this time is one of permanent transition. Moving two or three times a year, traveling as much as I can, working multiple jobs with less than a year’s worth of guaranteed work each. I love this life, but I seldom have the feeling of being settled in or established in my routines. At the beginning of last year I caught myself so many times saying things like, “I’ll do that when life is less crazy,” or, “If I can just get x done, then I can do y,” (let x represent a stressful task, while y represents the thing that will make me happy that I continue to put off).
As the year passed, I began to realize, life is never going to slow down for me. I can’t put off things like self care, attempting to convince myself that it will be easier to make happen later. This idea that everything will be okay after x happens perpetuates anxiety and prevents me from enjoying the present. After x happens, another x will emerge, and I will never get to y unless I change this thought process and start viewing self love as too important to put off. The Grinch was on to something when he said, “Dinner with me… I can’t cancel that again!” (Yes, I just quoted the Grinch and no, I’m not sorry.)
I’m not going to stop traveling. I am not going to stop relentlessly fighting for my goals and putting 100% into everything I sign up for. So since I know these things about myself, I have to learn to be okay with routine getting flipped on its head every once in a while. I have to accept that consistency will be a challenge and I have to decide self care isn’t a future thing, it is and must always be a now thing. Self love can ride side-car in even the most transitional and challenging phases of life, as long as we are patient with the process and willing to adapt its expression as we go.
I am learning to be okay with these routines naturally manifesting and falling away, making sure self love practices remain intact while being okay with those practices morphing and changing as my life does. Right now my self love looks like daily meditation, packing myself yummy lunches for work, playing outside as much as possible, and learning to give myself a freaking break every now and then. What time do you carve out just for you, and how do you spend it? Maybe you show self love by gardening, or running, or just taking a few deep, mindful breaths each day. Brag to me about your self love rituals! I would love to hear what you are doing, or even what you want to work toward doing, just for you.