There are a few things I’ve been pondering lately. What do people do to take care of themselves? And what are the [nouns] that make folks happy? And then the question that occurred to me the other morning… what do you like most/best about yourself? Like, when you think about who you are and how you engage with the world, what do you like best about who you are?
I feel compelled to mention my awareness of the privilege inherent in even contemplating such things; not everyone has that, because life is more about pure survival for so many, and the concepts of self-care and happiness are, or can be, pretty extraneous. Anyway. Here, in no particular order, are the things I do to take care of me, the “whats” I’ve found that make me happy, and what I like best about me (because sometimes it’s easy to forget the good, or at the very least, not even bother to think about whether I actually LIKE me or not). There’s a fair amount of overlap, which probably makes sense.
- Journaling (every morning)
- Cooking nourishing food
- Going to the gym
- Time spent with loved ones
- Gratitude practice
- Little kids – especially in costume (thank you, Halloween!)
- “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden when I’m at the gym and pretending to chase people on the other treadmills
- “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, especially that video from Sesame Street with the kid dancing on the fire escape
- Joey and Kermit
- My family – especially my nieces and nephews
- Delicious foods and fancy cocktails
- “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver
- Anything and everything Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires
- My new cozy, comfortable bed
- Making people laugh
- Learning things and getting to talk to other people about it
- Imagining, when stopped in traffic or at a railroad crossing, getting out of the car to dance (terribly) and sing (loudly) and just wiggle til it’s time to get back in the car. Cracks me up every time.
- I like the way I drive. I know it sounds weird, but only driving a manual transmission, and driving my little turbo-charged car like it’s meant to be driven, makes me feel good.
What I Like About Me
- I sing when I feel like it
- I do my best in most things
- I get afraid, but will try things anyway
- I share in an effort to encourage connection with others
- I’ve got a pretty big (and tender) heart
- I like to learn and have a pretty open mind
- I’m always trying to be a better person than I was the day before
- I always try to find my part in things
- I’m finally settling into who I’ve always been meant to be
These are just partial lists, but they’re things I think about on the regular, and I think that’s important. If there are things I can be doing to take care of myself, so that I’ll be better suited to take care of others, I want to be aware of that. If something makes me happy, I want to remember that. And there’s never a bad time to remember and acknowledge the good parts of yourself; makes it a whole lot easier to then navigate the parts that could use a little work.