We have all heard the instructions of an airline attendant reminding us to put on our own oxygen mask before we help anyone else with theirs. This advice is often cited as a metaphor for self-care because it so accurately expresses why it is important. It seems to say, ironically, that if you can't take care of yourself for yourself, do it for others. Few situations in our daily lives mimic the wake-up call of an airplane emergency, so it's easy to keep putting self-care off-easy, that is, until we get sick, overwhelmed, or exhausted, and suddenly don't have the energy to care for the people who count on us. That's when we realize we haven't been getting the oxygen we need to sustain ourselves. We begin to understand that taking care of ourselves is neither selfish nor indulgent; it's just plain practical.
Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself. For many of us, there is always something we feel we could be doing for someone else, and it helps to remember the oxygen metaphor. You can even encourage yourself by saying "I am caring for myself so that I am better able to care for others" or some other mantra that will encourage you. It also helps to remember that self-care doesn't have to be composed of massively time-consuming acts. In fact, the best prescription for taking care of yourself is probably small, daily rituals; for example, taking one half-hour for yourself at the beginning and end of the day to meditate, journal, or just be. You might also transform the occasional daily shower or bath into a half-hour self-pampering session.
Whatever you decide, making some small gesture where you put yourself first every day will pay off in spades for you and the ones you love. The oxygen you need is all around you; sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe.
Aurora's was mostly book fair & not any special events except ice cream & she didn't want any icecream just a few books, so I went early with her while Athena was still at school.
- then we got Athena, went home & all got dressed up & went to Athena's school party,
where there was a pumpkin contest (yes we entered but I didn't hear who won; I don't think they know until tomorrow)
& a room full of little sandwiches & bowls of chips, and sides like pickles & mayo & mustard...
& another room with freshly baked pumpkin cookies, cups of frosting & cups of candy to frost & decorate cookies...
another room was dimmed w/lights & music for dancing
- the pumpkin room was also mostly dark & all the pumpkins were lit up by various flashlights & leds inside that people had brought it (we did a simple flashlight; nothing strobe-ing or color changing) The pumpkin room was Athena's room & she was a little freaked at first when she walked into her safe classroom & it was full of glowing spooky jackolanterns.. Heh. .. , but she relaxed after we went up & touched a few of the glowing faced pumpkins.
There was also a room with crafty stick on & glue on foam halloween forms for making picture frames, and
they were taking pictures of the kids in their costumes with a lit up halloween background board
~ the kids had a total blast & the place was crawling with dressed up kids wild about halloween. Athena finally settled into playing legos for the last 40 minutes with a classmate named Daniel
While Aurora networked from room to room with a different group of princesses and ninjas and such folk every time I saw her. She's quite the gregarious kid.
Athena took off her horns & monster shoes & settled into quiet play simply smiling proudly, looking down & making a cute little 'bit my lip a bit' proud smile every time someone came up & told her how cute she was or said hi to her in a glowing way: She sure is charismatic: everyone dotes on her, even though she doesn't seek out any attention ( I recall how my little bro Pete was like that as a kid too: makes me think Charisma is like this magical unexplainable thing ~ some have it without seeking it out: others strive hard to make friends & do, but aren't necessarily fawned over (shrug) I'll never know, I'm sure.)
yesterday I simply finished carving the pumpkins & watched LOST after the kids were tucked into bed - it was nice.
-------------- the day before I spent the night planning, drawing, & decorating the pumpkins w/the girls:
Aurora mocked up many faces but decided on a pirate like we initially thought of because of the cool natural "scars" on her pumpkin: she decorated all over the top with gems & jewels & sequins & declared here a girl pirate ! it's pretty darn cute. Eye patch & grimmace & all!
~ Athena just had a blast putting sequins & gems & little chain bits into the glue I put on her pumpkin for her ~ and she also drew all over Aurora's pumpkin drawings, but I couldn't tell what she was trying to draw - it still comes out like scribbles: but she works really hard & meticulously at it, so I know she's got some plans in her mind she's trying to draw if you know what I mean? She's thinking hard about it, is all.
And they both had so much fun I had no time left to carve them - that's why I had to delay that to the next day.
I also had a nice phone chat with mrsmodew which was really nice; we chatted briefly Wednesday too; but it's nice to get to just talk a bit, you know?
--------------- Monday, Hm: I worked, just like all these other days, but it's more noticeable on Mondays; kinda have to get back into the swing of things ~ a little more tiring & dull to work on Mondays, it seems.. I mean, it has to "follow" i.e. compete, with the weekends, which are delightful indulgent times of freewill; so really, it stands little chance of being more then 'tollerable work' on a Monday whereas another day of the week it might seem interesting.. so did that, and .. got the kids from school - just Athena, Aurora was at the gameshop watching movies because school was out for her on Monday.. all went home & ate dinner, helped Aurora cook a bit, etc: the norm..., took a bath with them, read books, and went to bed really early. I think at 9pm. I was wiped. heh.
======================= So that's been my work week of nighs ~ la~ ======================= I could use more sleep now, actually but I'm doing laundry~ but I think I'll sign off, go change it to the dryer & wait until tomorrow to do more laundry, really - I'm so tired! Or, maybe I'll watch a film when I get downstairs, which was my initial plan, but I am sooooo tired from the 2 kids events & all that running around and "high noise/high light/hyperness" that I might just read. Heh. (very very likely)