Thanksgiving has ALWAYS been one of my very FAVORITE holidays! Growing up, the day consisted of food family football! There was prep the day before- getting out the traditional “orange plates” that were handed down from my great-grandmother and used only on Thanksgiving. (My brother Todd’s family now has those plates) My MOM made several homemade pumpkin & apple pies the day before and her homemade topping hard sauce which was lots of butter & sugar. The 25 pound turkey went in the oven first thing in the morning so dinner would be ready mid- afternoon after my brothers football games. My father carved the turkey. We said GRACE. Lots of tradition & special side dishes = LOTS of dishes to wash. The girls washed dishes and the boys watched football games on TV...endless football.
Up until a few days ago, I was very excited about Thanksgiving this year. I had a plane ticket to Florida. Along with several of my siblings- we had planned to rent a big house and have thanksgiving with my MOM. She’s had a challenging year health wise and recently had a heart procedure. At 87 years old, I know that her time with US is precious. With the uptick of this crazy pandemic looming, I made the decision to cancel my flight and stay home. As much as I’ll miss being with my Mom & family, I know it’s the right thing to do. I remind myself that the right decision is often not the easy choice.
I’ll look forward to our Durkin Family ZOOM time on thanksgiving- with siblings and family showing up from 6 different states. That’s the BEST we can do this year.
Many of us have had to dig deep this past year and make some tough choices & sacrifices. I remind myself that taking care of ourselves is not always easy. I’m inspired to EXPAND my definition of SELF-CARE and share that with you. I didn’t write this myself but it resonates deep in my heart & soul what it truly means to “take care of ourselves.”
"It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.
It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.
A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.
True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.
And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.
It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.
It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.
If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.
It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.
It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.
It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it." ~ By Brianna Wiest
Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving and hope you find time to reflect on all you have to be grateful for.
With a grateful heart,