Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blessing # 21: Today I mind myself.

Thank you, Martha, for creating a delicious, quick and easy soup!  Here's the recipe for 15-minute lentil soup!

What this gratitude is really about, however, is what I heard an Aussie woman call "looking after" oneself.  The Irish call it "minding" oneself.  I call it taking care of myself, and it is they key to creating the life I want. 

It may seem obvious to all of you, but it has taken me a long time to discover that doing some of the following simple things every. single. day. really and truly does make me happier:
  • Brush my teeth in the morning and the evening.
  • Take a shower as close to every day as possible.  In my defense, we are obsessed with cleanliness and Europeans are not as fond of showers as we are.
  • Not eating a bag of popcorn from Costco for dinner.  This was a news flash. Really, it was.  Not that long ago, either.  I may or may not have had a popcorn relapse this past weekend on meltdown day.
  • Washing my clothes once a week.
  • Cleaning the used Kleenex out of my car the same day I use them.  Who knew this would feel so good?
  • Doing my hair in the morning.
  • Putting on makeup in the morning.  (I know this is controversial, but I really feel better when I know I have put some effort into looking nice.  I think it's the care thing, not the how-I-look part)
  • EXERCISE!!  This one cannot be overstated.  Movement of my body moves my brain.
  • Washing the dishes.  The same day I make them dirty.
  • Make my bed.
  • Go to bed by 9.  
  • Take out the trash on trash day.
  • Go to the doctor once a year.
  • Go to the dentist twice a year.
  • Rest.
So simple, but so profound.

A few months after I got divorced from my husband of 9 years I was standing in my kitchen in my pajamas, hair dirty, days of dishes piled in the sink, looking out the window at the jungle that had become my back yard.  The garbage hadn't been taken out in several weeks, there were piles of laundry and junk all over the house, the bathroom smelled...interesting and there was a layer of slime on most surfaces.

Suddenly I realized that I didn't have any idea what I had contributed to that marriage.  I called my ex and told him so.

About 6 years later I feel joyful every Friday when I roll my trash can out to the curb; when I check the mail, when I open the mail that same day, when I do the dishes before I leave for work.  The satisfaction I feel with myself was part of what I have been looking for all along, but never knew.

I am reminded of what I heard a man named Father Tom said one time [I paraphrase]:
Person #1:  Don't cheat, don't lie, don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't judge others.
Person #2:  I don't want to believe in your god, that's so negative!   
Person #1:  Try it for a while.  See how negative your life becomes.

1 comment:

  1. Love ... just love! I know how important these basics are and yet as the depression really set in and held a few years ago now, I found some of the basics more difficult to keep up with. Okay, I'm still having that problem, but am working on it. Two of the things that I know help me most are daily meditation and quiet time as well as exercise and yet actually resuming those practices is still eluding me. I'm sure that contributes to the frequent feeling of swirling around the drain all to frequently. I am finding that as I'm wrapping up things at the job I haven't wanted to be at for a very long time, I'm feeling at least a degree of shift. We'll see what happens next week when my work is down to an "occasionally as needed" basis!! Oh, and I love lentil soup, so thanks for sharing the recipe!