I think girls are really awesome at a lot of things, but one of the things we're really, really bad at is self-care. People are pretty bad at it in general, but girls are totally the worst.
Being a girl, I'm admittedly a real champ at being bad at it.
When things get wacky (ahem - the holidays) and busy and there are commitments, and work to wrap up and gifts to (literally) wrap up, almost every girl I know has her coping mechanisms, and every single one of them is not that she asks for a big H-E-L-P.
My crazy-time tactics look like this:
Control anything and everything I can get my hands on. Last Tuesday night, after a meeting before work, a workday stacked with back to back meetings, and two meetings after work - landing me at home around 9:30, I dove straight into my house: organizing gifts, swept my room, cleaned the bathroom, organized my purse. Did I make dinner? Nosir. Did I have downtime and go to bed? Heckno. I just controlled my little world into a neatly organized zen zone.
Working out like somewhat of a maniac. Thinking I can somehow sweat some busy out.
Making lists out the wazoo. Heaps&loads of them. Personal lists. Work lists. Christmas lists. Phone calls to return lists. Grocery lists. Presents to wrap lists. Thank you notes to write lists. I list and list and list until I feel like everything is out of my head and on the paper and under control.
A few weeks ago, I got myself in a bit of trouble with some people who care about me. I was finally able to re-enter the running world (!), and went too far. I hurt my foot again :\ And after hearing multiple people tell me over and over: Whitney, you only have one body. It hit me. As good as that run felt - breaking free from the real and busy world - it wasn't worth it. It's more important to rest when you need to rest, pray when you need to pray, talk to your friends when you need to talk, and hold yourself to a standard of grace, not perfection.
And so, inspired by hearing Shauna speak last weekend and her post on grace, I am trying to focus more on self care. Remembering that sleep is good, and sometimes a phone call can be returned the next day. And that working out is good, but eating lunch should take precedent. And lists are good for organization, but they shouldn't actually control me.
I feel like most girls I know easily remember this when dealing with others - always quick to give grace to their friends, let one another out of commitments, suggesting they just go home and relax. I'm constantly telling my over-committed friend Sara that it's OK to skip something - that she deserves to have a night at home and go to bed early. And she's quick to tell me the same. But do we do it? Of course not.
So that's my goal for the latter half of this month (maybe even resolution worthy?). To slow down and enjoy this beautiful holiday season - remembering what it's really about. And I think you should do the same - really. Grab a coffee, a magazine and enjoy the blissful season we're in. You deserve it.