Self-care is a difficult task for me. I have been trained to put others first. I was a mom before I was a person. That shaped my grown-up experience. Now, my children are getting to be older. They need me in the peripheral. I am learning what self-care means.
I have been sitting in my house for almost two months. I could go out. I could have lunch with friends. I don’t know how to do those things, because I have never done those things. Since I was 21, my identity has been mom. Then at 23; wife. Jennifer was never really developed. It is quite scary to be 36 and not really know who I am.
What do I do with that information? I think the most important thing I can do is give myself care. I need to take my free time to figure out what I enjoy doing. I love knitting. It is truly my favorite thing to do in my spare time. Running clears my mind. Writing grounds my thoughts. I have never cultivated these activities. I’ve kind of just did them half-heartedly. There was too much to do; way to many tasks to complete. Here I am, with nothing to do right now. Why not hone in on those skills while I’m not focused on anything else?
I think building relationships is important to my self-care. Making friends is difficult for me. That consists of me not being awkward and weird. It also consists of me maintaining friendships and not withdrawing into my own head. I forget I have to be a participant in a friendship. I go inside myself for long stretches of time. Apparently, friendships don’t last when you do that. People don’t understand that behavior. I want friends, but I enjoy my alone time. I enjoy doing what I want to do. I enjoy the quiet. Sometimes I need company. Sometimes I just need to hear another voice. Sometimes a human presence is the difference between a pit of sadness and feeling okay. I just don’t know how to do make friends in real life.
I could join a running group. Then the voice starts. You’re 15 lbs too heavy. You are slow. You are not a *runner*. I run alone. It is a great way to clear my head. My body feels great afterward. It would nice to have someone to join me on the long runs. A partner might help me leave the house when the agoraphobia hits me hard. How do I do that? Where do I look for novice runners who only run for the love it?
Knitting groups are another option. The thing with that is they are almost always at night. I work afternoons. That means my attendance would be sporadic. I haven’t found a group I fit into, or that fits me. I could join a guild in the fall. That would give me a chance to meet new people. That’s all the way in the fall. I could do a google search for groups in my area.
It is important for me to push myself to do these things. Isolating myself is not healthy. I know I will eventually just shut myself in the house and never leave. Part of my self-care is to push myself to move beyond my couch and find people to build friendships.
*rambling post is done*