50 for 50 #16
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.
Love this Q&A, great idea! I'm with you on the blogging/writing part. For the most part, I love it, but it takes a lot of time and dedication. I need to be in the right frame of mind to write a post, and forcing that can be nearly impossible. But other times, the writing is free and easy, expressing exactly what I want to say. I love those days, lol 🙂
Take care Tracey! xx
I agree with you about needing to put "self-care" on a to-do list. If I didn't make this a specific task that needed daily attending to, I don't think I would be as content as I now am. Paying attention to what can be done to take care of myself is different than just trying to survive difficult times by flying by the seat of my pants, so to speak. Without proper attention, I would engage in behavior that felt more numbing than nurturing. Luckily, over time, taking care of myself has gotten easier and doesn't require constant viligance. And when I do feel stressed now, I take a step back to evalulate what I need to do to nurture myself instead of either numbing or falling into a stress pit.
Thank you so much Jeni and Sue for your comments! Yes Sue..exactly. I've engaged in tons of numbing behavior over the years, which takes the sting out of the present moment but does little to nurture my soul. I'm beginning to see the act of self-care, as relates to other aspects of my life, like a muscle…I mean, like writing or exercising. Over time, I'm getting better at it and reaping more rewards from it. It isn't easy, but the best stuff isn't, right? It's been like getting back to writing after almost a year off…getting the gears grinding was hard at first, but now the operation is running more smoothly…and I hope to get to high efficiency soon. I don't mean to imply that any part of it is easy..just that with more practice the flow happens more naturally. I'm striving for a sweeter spot where a routine of going with the flow, taking better care of myself, tending healthier thoughts, all combine so that I'm not "flying by the seat of my pants." Thank you!