I wasn’t feeling it. My spark was sputtering and faltering, and any free time I had, I wanted to fill with Life’s daily “things” that I felt needed doing before the ground froze, before such-and-such went bad, before I forgot until it was too late. Add to that the plethora of #MeToo stories and allegations and, as I explained to Mr. Muse, I found myself exhausted at the end of the day. After all of the “things,” I just wanted to curl up with a book or play a game where I didn’t have to think about how drained I was, and still am.
But, people follow this blog. And as a blog writer, with what I consider a decent amount of people who want to know what I think, I really ought to put something out there. To write. And it should be honest.
I’m exhausted. Not physically tired, as I write this I’ve been out of bed for 30 minutes, have gone to the barn and back, and have a lovely cup of coffee at hand. I’m emotionally tired. It’s not just me, though. I’ve read numerous articles about the tiredness of women across the USA, particularly in light of the news these last weeks. There are some articles out there which have struck a chord with me. I hope young women everywhere are listening to, and reading these stories and learning that the indoctrination of girls to be quiet and not talk about it when it happens to us needs to end. We need to talk to people. We can’t quash it down anymore because apparently, that doesn’t work and society hasn’t yet changed. Shout it, girls. Fight back.
As for my readers, I encourage you to read these articles.
- Rebecca Traister’s “The Reckoning” from The Cut
- Megan Burbank’s, “If You’re Surprised By the Reach of #MeToo, You’re Not Paying Attention” at The Portland Mercury
- Gretchen Kelly’s, “Dear Men, This Is Why We’re So Damn Tired” at Scary Mommy
Then, on October 26th, Mr. Muse and I said our final goodbye to our last “kid,” Alexander the Great. I wrote two separate posts about him. However, in my emotional exhaustion, I couldn’t bring myself to post either of them. You’d think that after nearly 20 years together with that goofy cat I could at least pay him a better homage than a few lines in a random blog post, wouldn’t you? After all, I did that for our other kids. But, for some reason, I find myself holding back. I don’t even know if I should suspect myself of posting either of them at a future date. Part of me hopes that I find it in me to share, but another part of me doesn’t want to deal with the emotions of posting it either. So, there it sits on the hard drive.
Now, as we race along into Holiday Season, the first hurdle of Thanksgiving Dinner has been cleared. There are more hurdles to yet come, but that first one is cleared, and thankfully it’s an easy one. The last ten years or so have found us spending our holiday with friends for what is affectionately called, “Misfit Thanksgiving.” The same group of guests, with a little variation, gets together to eat, drink, and be merry. The hosts grill a turkey and put out the cranberry sauce. The rest of us are in charge of everything else. Because I have Celiac Disease, and I’ll be damned if I don’t get to have dinner rolls with my turkey dinner, I volunteer to make rolls. I also make desserts. I may have gone a touch overboard this year with three pies, but I made them (with help from Mr. Muse on the second one), and they were appreciated.
I’d post the recipe for the gluten-free dinner rolls, but it came from the now-defunct Living Without Magazine, and there is no online link for it. I’ll need to recreate it for web purposes because they are soft and delicious!
And lastly, this break I’ve taken… Thank you for understanding. My friend Jess over at Jess Witkins’ Happiness Project posted an article about Self Care and the reality of it. Western culture has a lot of good things happening in it, but we’re bad about caring for ourselves. That includes me. Perhaps that is why my breaks tend to be prolonged – or at least feel extended to me. Self-care is rather anticlimactic. It’s not fun and exciting (not necessarily). It’s keeping our inner “house” clean with the same care we should be giving to the stick-built, or brick-and-mortar, abodes that we live within.
When our physical home feels and shows disrepair – we need to pay attention. Eat more fiber and less sugar. Get enough sleep. Drink a lot more water and a lot less alcohol. Get more exercise. Shut down social media – even remove the apps from our smartphones (I did). Tell ourselves that it’s perfectly okay to stop talking to people who don’t light a “home fire” within us but who feel as if they are standing outside of our door pouring gasoline everywhere as they threaten us with a box of strike anywhere matches.
I’ve been doing that, too.
In the last month I have finished up a baby blanket for the anticipated newest member of our extended family – our friends’ “miracle baby” they have wanted for years. Mr. Muse made, and custom painted a rocking horse as a Swedish Dala Horse (Mom and Dad are immigrants from Sweden). I started on another project from the Oubliette of Forgotten Projects. I had a nice, long soak in the tub – complete with lavender-scented Epsom salts. I made a conscious effort into cutting way back on adult beverages and in following the Swedish proverb, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing,” for when it comes to lunchtime walks during the week. I’ve been cleaning closets, cabinets, and even the barn, of items that haven’t been used in years.
I feel good about these things, and for the first time in weeks as I dug around in my inner woodstove digging for glowing coals, I think I see some.
Are you good at self-care?
What is something you find you must do to keep yourself mentally and physically in a good place?
What could you be doing better?