I am not so great at taking care of myself.
Not in the general day-to-day sense – I’m able to put pants on the right way (usually, depending on how bleary eyed I am), get myself to where I need to go, eat food when needed. I mean more in the “treat yo self” kind of mentality. In that I generally don’t. And when I do, I slather on a guilt trip so thick it’s overpowering.
I know I’m not the only one like this – in fact, I’d wager most women and quite a few men would enthusiastically nod if asked if they’re kind of crappy towards themselves. We try to do everything for everyone and agree to things we can’t possibly accomplish, and then throw ourselves over multiple hurdles to get it all done. All of the little things that spark our interest or would refuel our tanks get pushed aside, squashed down, re-filed to a “someday, that would be nice” drawer. And then for good measure, we chastise ourselves for even thinking about doing item X when there are so many other things that need to get done.
I’ve alluded before to my penchant for list-making. I organize my time to the hour some days (*coughs* most days) which is fine when I’m working and want to be all “super productive do all the things!” woman but on a Sunday morning I should be able to binge-watch Netflix in my p-jams without sassing myself off the couch. The same extends to when I travel, except this time I think I got the upper hand.
I’ve been in Venice, California for a week (yes, I’ve been here before…and before) and FORBID myself from making a list. My brain tried real hard. While waiting for my flight I caught myself casually jotting down goals in my phone (which is really a list’s subtle cousin). I promptly deleted them. I arrived and went straight to the beach with a book (Amy Poehler’s delightful Yes Please) and managed to sit for 10 minutes before thinking I should do homework or maybe groceries or perhaps check work email?
And then I silenced my brain. And thought about what would make me truly happy at that moment. And did that.
Getting my sassy brain to zip it has been an epic struggle this week. I allowed myself to plan a day of activities I really enjoy – hiking, record shopping, crafty things and stuffing tacos into my face. It felt nice to do things that I wanted to do for myself without simultaneously worrying about not crossing things off a to-do list. Being productive and accomplishing tasks is important and fulfilling, but so is treating yourself to a little personal time now and then.
So when people ask why I visit LA so much, part of it is because I have a very expensive reset button on my brain apparently, and tacos and ocean seem to be the only way to satisfy it.
Find your tacos, people. Tap into what you enjoy and tell your brain to shove it. That’s my hope for 2015.