Friday, December 14, 2012

Self-Care Is Not Just About Masturbation

Laura and I are attempting to be Responsible Adults tonight and will be doing some Christmas shopping. This afternoon as we're discussing how I also need to buy wall paint so as to transform my living room out of its everything-looks-pukey-tan hue and she's on the hunt for good wrapping paper, she suddenly interjects with "are we going to drink wine at any point tonight?"


Why yes, Laura. We will drink a bottle. For our health.


For those of you that don't know my most demure and that-girl's-got-her-shit together friend, well, that girl's-got-her-shit-together. Generally she is not the first to suggest we pour our difficult weeks into a glass and watch as it disappears into the buzz of a healthy Cabernet. That's usually my job.


But seeing as she has spent the week commuting almost 2 hours to and from her new job while simultaneously juggling her current one, the ever-approaching holiday and needy friends (hi); I'd say she deserves a glass. Or five.


Because look, here's the thing:


We all need time that is designed for nothing except rebooting. Playing pocket pool is great but we all need to learn what self-care is really about; especially during a season that's gotten so oppressive it feels as though we've all got a nutcracker shoved down our throats (just hope you're not allergic).


Self-care is about deciding what you and your health are worth and acting accordingly. Self-care is about taking a few moments out of the day to stop and say, "self, how you doing in there? Are you as ready to bitchslap that lady with the tiny dog as I am? Maybe we need to go take a nap and let her yap at someone else."


Whenever I get overfull on life I read Harry Potter. Here it should be noted that I've read each book in excess of 10 times. You tell me what that means about my daily stress levels. Every few months or so, I'll spend a week doing nothing but coming home from work, making dinner, having a glass of wine and losing myself and my problems in the fantastical world of teenage magicians. Usually I go to bed around 9. Sometimes I read it in a British accent in my head. Sometimes I get phrases like "leviosa" stuck in my head. Sometimes I cry when Dumbledore dies (ok, every time). Sometimes it takes me longer than a week to be rid of the urge.


And that's ok.


But despite whether or not I'm practicing my wand movements alone in my room or wake up with the book adhered to my face vis-a-vi drool, those weeks always give way to the ones that are more energized, exciting and free-flowing. By the time I've let myself get so desperate for peaceful alone time that I actually choose to read Harry Potter for the fivehundredthousandth time, it's now wonder it takes me that entire week to get recharged.


Laura is way better at being good to herself. The queen of 10-hour sleeps and dark-room book-reading, I'm not surprised she was fine the day we had to work after our previous wine night -- while I grasped for air the entire time. She's got a store of self-care bigger than our combined asses. It's a concept I struggle with and am trying to learn from her every day.


So I took the day off work tomorrow. Tonight I will shop, drink wine, knit and sleep in really late tomorrow. I will paint my living room so that I can stop obsessing over how the carpet matches the wall matches the furniture. I will bake Christmas cookies with my family and try not to eat an entire stick of butter in dough form. I'll remember that taking care of myself takes effort because I'm not naturally incline to just chill the fuck out.


I hope you remember during this season where too much is never enough to take some time out for yourself, too. And if you need some wine and a mediocre knitting lesson, I'm never out of both.



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