Thank you, readers, for sending in questions about my self-care journey and blogging. I answered a few.
Do we really need a goal to be able to take care of ourselves? I’ll only speak for myself here, but yes. I have absolutely needed to put self-care on my to-do list and maintain it as a priority. Taking care of my health and welfare doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m grateful for the amount of flexibility I have with my schedule and available resources to devote to proper nutrition, adequate exercise, and improved mental health. Even so, my habit is to allow other peoples’ needs and requests to take precedence over mine. I'm learning how to adjust to impediments. Just writing this is difficult. It sounds selfish and indulgent to me to imply, mean, and say that I should be placed atop my own list. I have had to learn the hard way, through our illness journey, that self-care is neither. My efforts require constant attention, though I am more able now than ever to embrace life’s ebb and flow. I credit therapy and mindful meditation with this improvement in attitude. Oh, and maybe my age. These days I give fewer shits what other people think. Very helpful!
Isn’t taking care the ultimate goal? Yes, but as I say above many of us were never taught to make self-care a priority, and have no idea how to go about it. I wish it was a no-brainer, but do not believe this to be true for many.
In a previous post you wrote, “I can’t follow a path that doesn’t exist. . .” Why? I challenge that in a positive way. Yes, I can see how my words could be construed to mean I want a clear-cut path laid with stepping stones upon which to meander into the future. How boring that might be. I meant instead that without an intention to include myself in the mix of life’s daily necessities, I wouldn’t.
I'm curious how you feel about your blog? Do you like it? Detest it? Writing blog posts challenges, excites, unnerves, thrills, and annoys me! Probably a few other emotions, too. Writing is hard! My writing friends and I lament this fact on a regular basis.
Do your feelings depend on the day or how close you are to publish time? No. For me it’s all about time in terms of other tasks that need immediate attention. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to scheduling. I like to feel productive, which I’ve written about before, and have a tendency to over-schedule. Sometimes having to write a post feels like another self-imposed obstacle to peace and serenity—one that can have few tangible benefits. At those times, I remind myself to breathe.
What are your feelings about the production process of your blog? I try to remain neutral towards the work of creating each post. It’s a necessary part of the process. I will admit, however, that I detest dealing with malfunctions and general site maintenance. Since I’m illiterate in programming and software language, communication with my host is a challenge. I rarely understand his suggested solutions for a problem. Several email backs and forths are required.
Also, I don’t enjoy the self-sales aspect of blogging. Being my own biggest cheerleader is important, but uncomfortable. It’s a work in progress. In general, I see my website and social media as barely tapped resources that require more dedication.
What has surprised you? It never ceases to amaze me, the gifts I’ve received from putting our story into the world. People I know and even ones I don’t know have contacted me to express appreciation and gratitude for words I have shared. When I started this blog, my number one priority was to help people going through similar circumstances know they are not alone. My greatest joy here is having done so. The wonderful flip side of that same coin is being reminded of the larger community to which I am connected. Plus, I have been the recipient of enormous generosity of time and talent from family, friends, and strangers in support of my work. Thank you!
Thank you for these great questions. Feel free to keep 'em coming.