Recently a friend of mine posted some quotations by the author Anne Lamott on her Facebook page. One that really struck a chord with me was this one:

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

Wise words indeed. I thought of them last night when my wifi went dead at a critical moment. I was really feeling frustrated as I unplugged the modem and slowly counted off a minute. And I decided that rather than stand there gritting my teeth as the seconds clicked slowly by, I’d do some stretching exercises based on a vague memory of the last yoga class I attended.

Why did I stop doing yoga? I have never felt physically better than when I did it regularly. I have no idea. Time. Money. Habit. Pure laziness. I need to get back into it. I need to give myself that gift.

I also thought about how wonderful my recent day trip to the tulip festival was. I could feel my blood pressure drop. I could feel myself relax and breathe. These things are important.

I need to be more gentle with myself. Take more baths. Take more breaks. Take more naps. Soak up the sun.

I need to be kinder to myself. I need to remember that no one can be as kind to me as I can be to myself. Deep down I know what I need. I also know that while it is necessary to do those things that will allow me to live my life (Damned job! Damned housework!) it is also vital that I not forget to do those things that make life worthwhile.

Then I did one last luxurious stretch, plugged my modem back in, and sure enough, both my laptop and I were good to go again.


I’m Dating Myself

I’ve been in high stress mode for a while now, between the death of my boyfriend, a horrific financial situation, and having to find and then move to another house. I am on the ragged edge. I need a break.

It would be really nice if someone would bring me flowers, take me out to dinner, and then give me a nice foot massage (among other things). I want to be pampered, cared for, and cuddled. I want to be appreciated and accepted and feel special.

Unfortunately I’m fat and 49 and I work the graveyard shift, so my field of potential suitors is, well, nonexistent. But hold on. I care about me. I appreciate and accept me most of the time. Why can’t I pamper myself? Why can’t I do something special by myself? And why does it never occur to most of us to entertain that option?

So as soon as the dust settles from this move, I intend to take myself out on a date. (I’ve already asked myself, and I told myself yes.) I’m going to buy myself some flowers. I’m going to splurge on something extravagant to eat. Then I’m going to take myself home, play some smooth jazz, light a candle, turn the lights out, and take a nice bath. Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do. If I play my cards right, I may even take myself to bed. Because I think I’m quite a catch.

dinner for one

[Image credit: iszlschoolnewspaper.com]


For some reason it’s been my experience that most people are incapable of being kind to themselves. I’m no exception. I don’t know if it’s low self-worth or a time management issue, but we tend not to take care of ourselves the way we would others. Think about it. You’d hold a door open for a stranger before you’d hold a figurative door open for yourself, wouldn’t you? That’s a tragedy.

In this economy especially, it is a shame that we are not taking more opportunities to be kind to ourselves. It costs nothing or next to nothing to allow yourself to sleep in or take a bath instead of a shower. When’s the last time you put lotion on your feet or took a walk in a park? Go ahead, splurge on that higher-end ice cream that you love so much, just this once. The dishes can wait. Instead, indulge your desire to watch a few episodes of Star Trek. Or take your bike out of mothballs and go for a ride. What’s it going to hurt? Start taking yoga classes again. You know you loved it. Why did you ever stop?

When you’ve experienced trauma, loss, or illness it is especially important to treat yourself with decency and care. You are the one person you can count on to do that, so why deprive yourself of it? It is wonderful when others step up and are good to you, but you have identified the need and you are also capable of fulfilling it yourself. What’s holding you back?

So take an extra few minutes to dangle your feet in the pond or look up at the trees from a hammock or use that shower gel that you like so much. Light that candle. You love the smell. These are gifts you can only give yourself. And when you do, be sure and thank yourself, too. That’s another thing we often forget to do, but it’s common courtesy.


[Image credit: workingmommanifesto.com]