“It feels like it’s been eons since I have written creatively and just let my thoughts be. I can’t remember the last time my feet touched sand, I read a book, or I enjoyed a Sunday paper while listening to jazz with a strong cup of tea. At 29, time is flying. I sadly bow my head in shame as I don’t have quiet moments to always hear God. It’s been too long since I went to church and sat reading his word, which brings me peace. (I still don’t do church- my spirituality has deepen over the years with my own blessing and journey. I think it’s better to walk the walk. For the last several years my Sundays have been spent on the front line running a homeless clinic. That works brings me joy to be able to provide them with a safe milieu when many places are closed. During this time I often hear and see some of the best real life sermons from engaging with these individuals.) As the quarter wraps up shortly, I dream of a long lingering bath in a home that I own. (Sanity announcement: don’t start buying a home while in graduate school, working a full-time job, and doing a part-time internship it’s only for the crazy) I dream of curling up and writing my story and taking a pause. I dream of walking through wet grass having real conversation (I love my career but seriously one can only handle so much talk about assessments, housing, suicide, and disproportions among demographics and gender – real life moment), and just taking care of me. If I don’t take care of me I’ll be no good to others, or able to fulfill my life purpose.”
Reading this I can recall how weary I was. I want hug my younger self (29 years was eons ago, I guess time does fly when you’re living life) and say these 17 hour days will pay off. Looking at my life now, I am glad I have found balance. I am NOT fully recovered but I have gotten a whole lot better. I either start or end my day with a run (my header is not stock image, but a trail by my home. I firmly believe one cannot walk or run it without releasing life’s burdens to mother earth). I also developed the One Minute game© (I copyrighted this). The object of the game is simply be in that moment. The rules are subjective. The only hard and fast rule is you must stop for a minute and do what the other person says. In knowing that, I suggest this is something you do with those you love and trust. You also have to set your alarm for a minute.
A few examples of how this game works: the other morning I got out of bed later than expected and was half way through my getting ready routine. My spouse walks into the kitchen and says “one minute!” My thought was “seriously, right now?!” However, I stopped and took a deep breath as another rule is you can’t say no- it’s only a minute. I was quickly engulfed in a warm embrace and one of those movie type kisses. That was the shortest yet most beautiful 60 seconds of my day.
Another example was when I was dropping a niece off we began to play radio wars until she yelled “one minute!” when she heard Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. I listen to the song and I rolled my eyes and said don’t turn up the volume, but the next thing I knew I found myself humming along and was impressed with myself for living in that moment and not going off the deep end into a lecture about Domestic Violence.
Here are some other excellent resources on self-care:
◾Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others, by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky (Berrett-Koeler Publishers, 2009).
◾Rachel Naomi Remen’s Keeping a Heart Journal and related trainings and resources.