You’re familiar with mindfulness, meditation, and self care, but not because you’ve consciously practiced them.
Decide to practice them.
Sit on your floor in the quiet, hands placed just-so on your knees, and tell your brain to be still. It’ll be anything but.
Should you move house for a bigger yard? Your ankle itches.
Is it wrong to scratch during meditation? Certainly, scratching an itch is self-care. Scratch.
Look at your phone. It laughs at you. You’re supposed to be still and quiet-brained for ten minutes. It hasn’t even been three minutes.
It’s been 2:42. Two minutes and 42 seconds.
You stretch and try again after sticking your tongue out at your phone who continues to mock your lame-o “meditation.”
“This meditation WILL happen,” you say. Say it silently, because you’re not supposed to talk to your phone or yourself.
Tell yourself “This is practicing self care.” Leave out the damnit, because self care is more zen than swear words. You think.
Wonder about swear words and quiet.
Wonder if it’s okay to NOT be quiet, because it’s being present or something. Pause your phone timer and Google it.
A friend, with another hundred mindful meditators have a hundred different answers. You figure you’re as smart as they are and try again without reading.
“Did I pay the credit card this month?” your brain asks.
“Shhhhh,” you reply.
“Wait. DID YOU?” Now you’re not sure and you know you can check in 10 minutes but come-on-already, this is stupid.
You’re supposed to be self caring.
Think about crumbs under the kitchen table. Chastise yourself because you recently noticed your son’s slob-crumbs grab onto chair feet as they slide on the floor as your son slides on the chair. The floor you love so much has scratches in it. Scratches from toast crumbs of all things.
“Stop thinking about toast crumbs!”
You breathe in more deeply. Reach your head to the sky, straightening your spine.
“Gawd, I need a massage.”
“So book one already. Duh.”
“Maybe I just will!” That would be self care!
Your stomach rumbles. It’s not your stomach. Wonder if farting is part of mindfulness, meditation, and self care. Decide that it definitely is because BODY but then think about for-real monks who practice this with other people around. Surely they don’t fart. Or, do they? Is that zen?
OMG. BE MEDITATING already. Meditating is self care! STOP thinking about farts. Are you a seven-year-old boy?
Giggle. And think, “well, yeah, sort of…”
You check your phone again because certainly it’s been 10 minutes by now but you’re still on 2:42 because you never un-paused it after Googling how people meditate.
Your phone laughs at you again and you don’t throw it at the wall because most of the time, you love it. It remembers phone numbers and stuff that you’d forgotten how to remember years ago, back when remembering something like that made sense to.
Wonder about kids today, and whether they’ll be dumber because they don’t have to memorize phone numbers. Or write with their hands, really.
Smile and wave to the 80’s, when speakers were huge, people had mullets, and phone numbers were written down or memorized. When calendars didn’t make noises at you except with multi-colored Post-It reminders.
Decide that sitting on the floor trying to meditate isn’t what self care looks like for you. Get up, and put on some boots and a jacket. Sit outside. Think about how you’re your own weak spot.
Remember that mama in France, or in Syria.
Decide to walk.
Think “Aahhh, this feels good.”
Realize it’s cold and dark and that it’s after 11pm and that you just left your sleeping son and husband at home and what if something happens and you’re not there?
Head back. Stop in front of a neighbor’s house and wonder how they self care. See the inconsistent light patterns in an upstairs window from a TV and find comfort that Netflix counts as self care, too. Pat yourself on the back for watching “This is Us” in record time while your family slept a week ago.
Add points for all the nachos you didn’t eat during binging, because eating nachos would have been good with “This is Us.”
Make a note to have nachos for the next episode.
Walk back inside, and vow to be better with self care, tomorrow.
Decide that winners don’t wait for tomorrow.
Sit down on the floor, right then. Posture is good. Rather than closing your eyes, stretch your legs. Don’t count the seconds.
Feel that this feels good. That self care is sometimes found in things like stretching your legs.
Remember being a pro at hip-hopping with your son to “This is My House” earlier.
Sit up straighter.
Think about ordering a needlepoint thing for the wall that says “You are enough.” Remember you don’t really like needlepoint things.
Raise your arms above your head, and whisper “goodnight” to the faces on the bathroom wall.
Head upstairs to read, pausing to fill a thermos with ice water.
When you wake thirsty in the middle of the night, the ice won’t yet have melted.
Settle back down and know that sometimes, you really are enough and that your self care practices are enough, too.
Decide it’d still be good to learn to meditate and walk more though.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post.
This week’s sentence is “When it comes to self care…”