Standing in the grocery checkout line, I laid eyes on an Archie comic. Memories came back of being ten, reclining under a tree reading Archie and Friends cover-to-cover. For a moment, I thought about buying the comic, and thumbed through it to see if it was worth the expense. Sadly, it didn’t catch my interest. However, I realized that it wasn’t the comic that I wanted, but the experience of being carefree, in balance and absorbed in a moment of bliss.
In short, I was out of balance, and craving for diversion. People I love are dealing with hard stuff. Some are dying. I am doing what I can, and grateful for the opportunity, but when I am thinking about buying an Archie comic, I am doing too much.
So, I went home, prepared a simple meal, left the computer off, and immersed myself in a good book. I didn’t feel ten years old and carefree, but I did feel less weighed down by life. In the morning, I woke up refreshed, and committed to staying healthy.
I need to take care of myself for my own sake as well as for the sake of others. However, self-care is something that many of us are clueless about. Years ago, back when I was trying to save the world, I made a list of things I could do that would soothe me. The list included things like:
- Go for a walk.
- Read a book.
- Call a friend who makes me laugh.
- Stare out the window and do nothing.
- Soak in the tub.
- Watch a sitcom or YouTube video that makes me laugh.
- Listen to music.
- Savor a piece of hearty whole-grain toast with butter and honey.
Now I don’t need a written list, unless I am nudged by longing glances at an Archie comic. The list is in my head. It helps to practice self-care on a daily basis, so I can keep in balance rather than rebalancing after being buoyed about by the tides of life.
E.B. White wrote, “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” For me, it’s best to do both.