Care

Sometimes, things start to feel lackluster, and one day blends unremarkably into another.  I’m on auto-pilot, and the urge to complain comes about more frequently than I’d like.  My head is filled with cotton, and the outside world looks bland and uninviting.

Ennui:  a feeling of dissatisfaction and bored, weary listlessness due to a lack of excitement and stimulation.  Also associated with cynicism, world-weariness, and self-indulgence.  I’m so deep, man.  I’ve got a bad case of ennui.  It’s a French word, look it up.

Ugh.  I’m giving myself douche chills.  I can’t stand myself when I feel this way.  In order to combat this feeling of stagnation and boredom, I pull out my mental list.  I pare things down, take a deep breath, and try to look at myself, now.  What is special about this moment?  Is there something I can indulge in, to appreciate my world and bring things into color and focus?

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This morning, while shaking off the remnants of a nightmare, I poured myself a bowl of Cocoa Krispies.  I hadn’t tasted these babies since I was a kid, and the silly monkey on the box called out to me at the grocery store earlier this week.  In the gray quiet shadows of the morning, I curled up onto my couch with my bowl of sugary nostalgia, and chowed down.  Something lifted in my heart, and I felt a nice warmth there.  Sure, I’m shirking my healthy-living promise to myself; but sometimes, a guilty pleasure is just what you need.  Every chocolatey morsel of goodness brought a new idea to mind.

I recommend everyone make themselves a list.  You might be surprised at how small a gesture it takes to show yourself a little loving compassion.

 

For me, it could be…

 

The nostalgic crunch of breakfast cereal

A piece of whole-grain bread topped with a chunk of sharp English cheddar

Gliding my new gorgeous Micron pen across the smooth paper in my new notebook

Caressing the pages of a new journal, deciding what its purpose shall be

Burning a stick of incense I’ve been saving from Japan

Admiring a rare sight here: the frosted white treetops on a frigid morning

Brushing through my hair, adding oil to make it shine

Painting my nails clear in an effort to stop biting them

Pouring myself a finger of Cuban rum at the end of a 6-day work week

Wearing an outfit that makes me feel like my final form

Quenching my thirst with a large, perfectly cool glass of water

Looking up a new subject to learn about (at the moment: 18th century cooking and re-enacting)

Walking through the garden, smelling the herbs

Planning an upcoming trip or outing

 

I’m talking about self-care:  doing things because they make you feel good, and for no other reason.  I’ve made a list, and when things start to look gray and I need a pick-me-up, I refer to my list of comforts.

Now, on this gray Sunday afternoon shrouded in fog, I’m off to another one of my comforts:  gathering around the table with family, and enjoying a meal.  Today’s meal:  pot-au-feu.  Please excuse me while I run off to stuff my face as an act of self-kindness.

 

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another loving act:  getting a close-up view of some flowers

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