So I have a confession, I know I talk about self care a lot so I must have it down to a science, right?WRONG. It is something I know is important,. I know that it is something that there is a lack of space for and lack of language around. I also know I find it illusive sometimes.
So I recently found myself in a place of lack. It was mid December and I was heading into full on burnout.There were a lot of contributing factors but the reality was time was lacking and demands were high. I did my best to carve out time. But as you know, December is lacking in it. “I am burned out, but down time is coming,” became my mantra.
Fast forward post Christmas and TA-DA much needed down time was all mine. I did some assessing to figure out how to make next year less overwhelming. Mistakes were made, but luckily there were easy fixes going forward. I mapped out goals, I took baths, I introverted (boy did I need that!), read, and had family time. It was amazing.
Prior to the holidays I felt like for the first time in years, the path to the life I wanted was wide and clear. It was as if, I finally got off the back roads and was on an open highway with no cars and a clear path to where I was heading. Then somehow I took a wrong exit and ended up on the back roads again, and then there was traffic on the back roads and lots of blind corners. I felt totally lost and scared I had lost my path. No amount of “self care” was doing it.
Help! Help me! Ughhh…I need Help!
So I finally reached out for help on a private Facebook group. A “has this happened to you and what did you do” sort of request. I got a lot of perfect advice. Rest some more. Be kind to yourself. Just be and have fun.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
But no. It sounded right, but didn’t feel right. What was wrong with me?! What is this funk?
Then a friend texted. She saw my post but decided to reach out directly and she said, “Ride it out and trust that place of inspiration you were in. “ Then she said, “and what would the you at the end of January tell the you now that she wished you had got done? Is there something you can do to be productive?”
I need to get back to work?! But…but…hmmm? Still unsure I just let it sit there. The next day I went to an early morning meeting. However, the conversation from the night before was still kicking around for me. What if, I felt disconnected and unclear because I was literally disconnected. I had not worked in over a week. Maybe?
Ding Ding Ding! Ah ha Moment.
After the meeting I went to the studio to get something and meet with a studio mate about something and instantly I knew that was it.
I love what I do. I do. I love building this thing that lives in the world that is a part of me. I love nurturing it and loving it and seeing what that turns into. It is work. IT IS. But it is work I love. And for me self care was decidedly NOT about disconnecting and resting but about ,now that I was rested, finding a place to put that love.
I read a quote once by Jamie Anderson that said “Grief was just love with no place to go.” It was such a truth to me and touched me deeply.
So on the smallest level that unsettle I felt was grief. It was my love for what I do with no place to go. For me, self care was a need to get back to it.
So that is what I did.
Go forth and #loveYOU