Continuing the previous post and comments and conversations about self-care and managing it

I worry about burnout. I don’t worry about it a lot, but I can usually tell when I’m feeling it because that’s when the worry starts to creep in. It’s the preview before the full-on exhaustion. It’s the days/weeks/months of denial that I haven’t been putting myself first in my work. It, positively, usually ends in a vacation, in all senses of the word. Last time I went to Guatemala for two weeks. No technology at hand. Just air and sky and people and a really good friend at my side to laugh and share with. Feeling deeply that this is what life should be. Understanding that my own privilege allows me this escape. But that’s another conversation.A lot is happening in my life right now, some of which I have zero control over. My grandparents are getting older, and my grandmama appears to have taken a turn for the worse. My brother is overseas in the army. And then there is school. And work. And volunteering. And with everything that is happening I am piling up my plate to tipping just when emotionally I need space. That space is scary and uncontrollable. I know, somewhere, that I need it.

This time around I find myself trying to add self-care on to my to-do list, but the lists are part of the problem. Today, I am trying to step back from them. I am remember that the work that I do feels the best when I just trust that it will get done. I had created a timesheet for myself for the things that are on this list. I added “Me Time” to it but I’ve since deleted it. That time needs (for this moment) to be focused on quality, not quantity. If I spend 5 minutes with myself and do not think about the other things that must be done, then I have success. If I spend 3 hours trying not to think about those things, then it was not a good time to center myself.

This post (and probable future ones) is not about revelations on how self-care will work for me indefinitely. I know that things will change. Maybe soon I will need to quantify my Me Time in order to make sure it is there. Maybe I will have to schedule it. I like that it molds itself to situation at hand, but my biggest challenge has been and probably will be remembering. When things are so busy I can’t see the forest for the trees, I hope I take that moment to just be. Slowly, I hope I will lose that voice in my head that calls me selfish when I don’t give everything I have and more to everything else but me.

I guess self-care is the goal again for this new year.

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