I’m an only child. As an only child, I feel that I can weigh in a bit on the numerous opinions on only children. 🙂 I didn’t feel like a “Lonely Only,” but I was quite comfortable with my own company. And, of course, the company I found in my books – there were universes of friends to be made there!
A benefit I have found in being comfortable with my own company? Self care really just requires a bit of my solitude (hi, introvert here, nice to meet you all!) for me to recharge and start to feel refreshed.
But, hey – I’m writing. And when I’m not writing my own work, I’m writing curriculum for Learning Without Scars.
Since writing is a solitary endeavor, my work on its own should be a kind of restoration for me, right?
I have to get creative. I found a little frivolous tip that works for me, but first I have to explain my reasoning.
When I was a teenager, I thought the height of romance was an inexpensive meal, followed by ice cream and a walk down the beach. Maybe a foreign language movie after.
Do you know how tricky it is to find someone with those interests when you are 17? I was at UC Santa Barbara, when it occurred to me that I could take myself on my own damn date. I was buried in studying, but one Thursday night I zipped down to Stearn’s Wharf and grabbed fish and chips for dinner. My companion was a very hopeful seagull. 🙂
Afterwards, I grabbed a scoop of ice cream in a cone and wandered down the beach, totally content.
It made everything better. The workload felt manageable, my focus while studying was more sharp, I slept a bit better (I was still in a dorm, so noise was a factor). So, the next week, I did it again. It was inexpensive, I had fun, and I saw positive results in my day to day life because of it.
Now, I don’t go on dates by myself. I go on dates with my Tumor Raider, and those are always wonderful. Every Thursday, I feel some sort of “go out, don’t cook” and vague ice cream craving after training myself that way for 4 years.
But, in the midst of parenting, and marriage-ing, and working 2 jobs, where is there time for self-care? Yep, I run, I swim, I move. But I’m talking about the quiet, lazy-ish, self-care I stumbled upon accidentally years ago.
What I’m about to tell you is my shameful little secret. You know how there are all these books you just *have* to read? They’re edifying, they make you smarter, they train you or teach you? My self-care is NOT reading those books. I mean, I DO read those books, but at the end of the day when I am winding down, I read total fluff. Suspense, romance, young adult, I do not care what it is – if it’s fun and light and an easy read, you will find me reading it. The house goes to sleep, and I’m curled up with Nora Roberts or a Stephanie Plum novel.
Self-care at 40 looks a lot different that it did at 17-21. Of course, I’m also no where near the ocean now. Still, the activity can change – but the need to take care of ourselves, to baby ourselves and relax should be a priority too.
Happy writing, and blessings to you all!