Five Thoughts About Self-Love We All Need To Embrace

Good morning, Dear Reader! Although I’ve been up since 2:23 a.m., I am running late on this post. Forgive me. I’ve been putting labels on my spice jars. It’s what I do when I can’t sleep. I’m still determining what I would do without that label-maker, but, as a minimalist and an insomniac, I’m running out of things to label. 

We, dear Reader, are quickly approaching the end of the year. I only have a few more weeks to convince you that simplicity isn’t “something you do” but rather more closely aligned with “someone you are”. That is not to say, “You are simple”. But instead, the act of embracing simplicity makes life more simple. Sigh. I can’t find my words today. I hope you get what I’m trying to relay. (SOS. Send coffee.)

I’ve looked back on many of my posts over the past year, and a great amount center on self-love. So today, I’d like to wrap up that concept with five thoughts on loving yourself and why it’s essential.

Most of us grew up believing that anything that looks like ‘self-love’ is selfish and we should avoid being selfish. But I no longer agree with this, and here’s why:

Loving yourself means you can be a better human. But…let me be clear about something. I believe you can be less than 100% into the whole self-love thing, AND you can love another person. Do you know what I mean? So many people cling to that old adage, “You can’t love anyone else until you love yourself.” 

{Cough} Bullshit.

I’ve loved my son more than the air I breathe since the day he arrived on this planet, and I struggled with loving myself for many of those years. So, um, yeah. You can love others while you work on yourself. 

You may ask, “What does it even mean for me to love myself?” Don’t worry. I’ve got five thoughts to share with you on that. 

So, grab that drink and settle in. Let’s get started, shall we?

1) Caring for yourself, and knowing that caring for you, is just as important (if not more!) than the care you provide to others. Since I battle insomnia, I know that there are times I require a nap during the day. If I don’t get adequate sleep, I will screw stuff up at work. I’m pro-nap on days like today, even when others need things for me. You may need to call off work and take a ‘sick day’ when you aren’t sick and go to the movies. If you read the employee handbook, I betcha it outlines how many sick days you earn. It doesn’t list the items that qualify as ‘sick days’. (Gasp! My father just rolled over in his grave because I suggested you take off work when you aren’t even sick. Sorry Daddy-O.)

2) It means being willing to set and maintain boundaries even if you sometimes feel guilty about it. I love my son’s school, and for two years, I served on the board of the PTA. I gave a lot of time and money to these efforts. However, I stepped back last year and set some boundaries around my time and money. It breaks my heart when there is a need at the school, but I have decided to give my money elsewhere for the 2022-23 school year. If you, like me, are a people pleaser, this can be a significant step in the self-love arena.

3) It means honoring your own wants and needs. I know you all think I’m the most direct and crass person on the planet, but honestly, there was a time that I would eat food I didn’t like just because I was afraid to speak up and say, “I don’t want to go to that restaurant.” These days? Well, I’m not spending time with my family for Thanksgiving. My kid is with his other half of DNA, I’m off work, and I’d really like some downtime with no dishes to wash or people to please. So, guilt be damned. Honor those wants and needs.

4) It means accepting yourself as you are…not waiting until you are (fill in the blank). Someone sent me a link to an MLM program yesterday with the subject line “Stop hating your body,” and I remember thinking, “I don’t hate my body.” Sure, I’d like to lose some weight. I want to make more money. I want to be entirely out of debt. But waiting until those things are accomplished to accept me? Hogwash. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself – get some help if you can’t think of anything – and pull that out every time you wade into negative water.

5) It means noticing your unhelpful thought patterns and working on them so you can improve how you feel about your life. For example, mid-Summer, I realized I was agreeing to things I didn’t really want at the moment because I feared the reaction of others. In fact, this irrational fear of others’ reactions actually lent itself to unhappy choices in several areas of my life. I invite you to work hard to get to the bottom of some of your limiting beliefs or unhelpful thought patterns. Once you see them for what they really are, you’ll begin to notice how unhelpful they are. Those thoughts probably create opportunities for you to shrink back, and not live your best life. 

That’s it for today, Reader. I’ve got a nap to plan. Also, I’ve been digging around Spotify all damn morning trying to find a song that fits with the theme today; alas, I just can’t find that perfect song. So, how about I give you a link to one of my favorites? This Mitch Rossell song may be new to you. But he isn’t new to the music scene. In fact, he’s written a ton of songs for Garth Brooks and if you listen closely, Trisha Yearwood provides a lot of background vocals on his songs. She even makes a cameo in this video (Bonus song!) He opened for GB in April in Arkansas, and I fell in love. (Okay, not love. Remember, I no longer fall in love with musicians as I mentioned in this post last week.) But, ain’t gonna lie. There’s something about a man and an acoustic guitar that makes me swoon. Sigh. Enjoy!

As always, if someone needs to read this, share it on all those social thingys. I’d appreciate it. And as all the YouTubers say, “Don’t forget to subscribe,” so you don’t miss a post.

Cold Weather, Melancholia, and Taylor Swift

It’s finally cold, Dear Reader, here in the Ozarks. I mean, not cold by the standards of some. I receive updates via text message from my friends in Massachusetts and upper Illinois and trust me, they are freezing their asses off up there. But for me…for SOMO…it is cold. Very. Very. Cold.

I’m not crazy about the cold. Truth is, I’m not crazy about the heat, either. Where can I live so that I’m within a temperature range of 45-75 degrees all year long? Riddle me that, Dear Reader.

I get cranky when I can’t get outside. About three months ago, I turned my bedroom walk-in closet into my work-from-home office, displacing all my clothing and shoes. And while I do love having my little dedicated ‘space’, I’m, literally, in one room of my house for two-thirds of the day on most days. It can be a bit stifling – especially when I can’t get out of the house because it’s freakin’ cold.

I keep thinking about a post I made a few months back about changing our perspective and how even the slightest change can make a big difference. I’ve been in a funk for almost two solid days, and I’m trying to determine how I can drag myself out of it, or at a bare minimum, stop swearing under my breath each time an email comes in, or a text from my ex is received. As I’ve mentioned several times, I’m not an expert on this stuff – I’m merely a semi-infamous blogger – but I do wonder about those who seem happy all the time. I mean…what the fuck is wrong with them?

I’m kidding, of course. I like happy people. I just want them happy…over there…when I’m cranky. And, I am truly grumpy today. I thought we were getting over this pandemic thing, little by little, and then they shut down the schools yesterday. My investment accounts are trending in the wrong direction, and I’m gaining weight. I’m kinda over this COVID thing. How about you?

Anyway, I feel I need to offer you some advice – especially if you feel like I’m feeling and you’ve read this far into the post.

So. Grab a drink. Settle in. Together, we will climb the wall of crabbiness to find our bliss on the other side. I don’t know about you, but I’m planning to try the following:

1) Embrace the funk. Shit happens, right? This era of toxic positivity drives me bonkers. Transparently, I question the integrity of those who are peppy all the time. I mean, I’m not going to pack my bags and move into Funkville, but I will embrace it and practice some self-care whilst in its midst. Warm tea, Riopy YouTube channel, maybe a few Milkduds, and a hot bath tonight. I am not going to drink alcohol, watch anything starring Jake Gyllenhall, nor am I going to log into my investment accounts today.

2) Get out of a rut. I’m in my bedroom/office 80% of my day and night, as I mentioned. I have the weekend sans child, and therefore, I’m going on a road trip. My 2022 bucket list includes seeing all the covered bridges in Missouri. I plan to pack a little cooler, put on my gifted blue Make-A-Wish stocking cap and mittens, load up on coffee and sour cream & onion Pringles, and get out of the house this weekend – despite the temps – to find one of them. I’m amazed at how little I’ve seen of the state I’ve called ‘home’ for nearly 40 years of my life. I’ve lived in some beautiful places – western Mass being right up there at the top – but Missouri is also beautiful. And I have the time, so I should use it.

3) Move more. I have got to get my body moving. I hate the gym, so once the temperature reaches 45 today, I will bundle up and get out of here for 20 minutes. I’ll stretch tonight after I meditate – after that hot bath.

4) Manage exposure to social media and news. I was already tipping the edge of pissiness yesterday when I received the email about my son’s school closing for the remainder of the week due to the surge in pandemic-related illness. I joked with a friend that I was getting out of my bad mood by watching a documentary about serial killers. Whatever, right? You do you, but I’m not taking the bait and clicking that link to the article on Linkedin. And I am not watching the news.

5) Create something. I’m a nerd and have started painting rocks. It’s a real-life cult thing to do. I also took an introductory embroidery class last weekend at my favorite little local store owned by one of my favorite humans, The Local Bevy, so there’s an option. I also ordered a Paint By Numbers canvas that arrived last week. My point is: I plan to stay away from spreadsheets and books about analytics. I plan to stop reading books on how to be a better writer, mother, and friend. My brain is tired, and even though I’m not the most creative person on the planet, my soul craves simplicity and quietness. I plan to honor this.

So, how about you, Dear Reader? What are your tips for thwarting melancholia? How do you get out of a funk? Do tell….because I’m this sly [ ] of taking a Xanax and crawling back into bed today. The good news? Most funks are short-lived. A couple bad days here and there is really nothing to be too concerned about. When the bad days or negative feelings seem to be lasting longer and longer I hope you’ll reach out. I’m not an expert on depression or seasonal affective disorder, but I do understand them and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and listen.

I’m going against my nature here and giving you a not-so-very upbeat song. I cannot explain my infatuation with this song – which I find sad and haunting both simultaneously. I really can’t decide if I love it or hate it, but I can tell you this: I listen to it a lot. Truth time? It kinda breaks my heart. There is something heartbreaking about it, and I can’t put my finger on it. I’m overly worried about her scarf, and I wish the bastard would just give it back already. If I dig deep…it probably is a bit triggering. I mean, why did he have to tear her down and be mean when really all he needed to do is own the fact that he just didn’t want to be in a relationship with her anymore? Who knows. Maybe I’m overthinking this. It is a Taylor Swift song, after all. How deep can it really be?

PS…if you’re new here and want to know why I included a song at the end of this post, it’s a thing I do. You can read about it here.

PSS…if you are a fan of social media and you liked this post, feel free to share it with any of your friends who aren’t offended by the word “F*ck”.