Self Care is a WIP

Today I cancelled an already- rescheduled pedicure because I had too much work to do.

I think it’s been two years since I had one.

I know that if I went ahead and did the pedicure, I would feel better. My feet and legs would feel and look good. It’s definitely a good idea.

But I already spent too much money at the school book fair this week, so I thought that further justified cancelling my little spa treatment.

brown chair with white pillows
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And giving yourself an at-home pedicure, while it may save some money, is SO NOT the same thing.

The feet- and calf-massage are worth the entire visit plus tip.

Removing one’s own callouses may be a nice bit of grooming but for me it doesn’t qualify as self care because 1) it is disgusting and 2) it hurts and 3) I am 100 percent certain I will do it all wrong. Oh, and there’s another thing.  I will most certainly injure myself to the point of bleeding and foot infections because I as a human being am a hot mess. Last time I checked, that is the opposite of self care.

I know all of this in my head, and yet I cancelled. Don’t worry, I didn’t take any money away from anybody providing the pedicure — I usually choose walk-in nail salons. I cancelled on a friend. That’s almost WORSE.

“You can’t pour from an empty cup” is one of those things that come out of my mouth all the time. It’s true!

And yet I can’t even bring myself to enjoy a pedicure because I’m thinking of all the other demands on my time and my money.

It all boils down to guilt, folks.

Even swimming in the pool this morning — getting much needed exercise — all I could think about was “what am I going to finish first as soon as I get home?” My house is a mess, the laundry is unfolded, I have one huge editing project sitting in my email and another one arriving any minute now. I have a formatting struggle that is ongoing for another project. I have social media pages and newsletters to manage. I should really start on painting the side porch before the weather gets cold. I have all my autumn decorations sitting out but not arranged. Not to mention, I don’t know what I’m going to make for dinner.

And the house had better be clean and dinner better be good if I’m going to make my husband put the kids to bed tonight while I go to a movie with my girlfriends. But why, though? When I know that my fella does NOT — I repeat — does NOT behave like a 1950s dad who thinks his own children are a burden when he’s left alone with them. He could not care less if I go out with my friends. So, what even is that?

Whose voice is it in my head telling me I “had better do this right” or that I “really should” do this or that?

Do you see how this list can go on and on for days?

Do you see how easy it is for me to get overwhelmed?

After I had my first baby, I had to re-learn the definition of overwhelmed. I could barely put one foot in front of the other. I was so tired and so lost in the woods, I actually had to focus my brain by saying out loud, “OK. First, put your keys where you can find them. Then change his diaper. Then try to nurse, but if that doesn’t work, warm up the water for his formula. If he blows his diaper, remember that IT’S OK. Don’t cry. Or cry if you need to. Just give him a bath while you both cry, get him dressed, grab some almonds and and then feed him.”

I had to fight through the cloud of … I don’t even know. Lostness? Confusion? Overwhelm?

I’m not going to go on a rant right now about how European countries have a much better handle on how to treat postpartum mothers.

The point is, where is this voice coming from that constantly tells us women — and I believe it is mostly women but please correct me if I’m wrong — that we have to DO everything, VOLUNTEER for everything, be RESPONSIBLE ALL THE TIME for everything?

This voice is especially amplified in October through December, when it’s all on us women to make the holidays perfect and magical for everyone in our lives, on top of everything else that’s overwhelming us.

I don’t know, but I’m having a hard time telling that voice to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Are you?

I’m not sure what to do about it, but I’m going to tell my friend to MAKE SURE that I follow through on my plan to get a pedicure with her in the next week.

As a matter of fact,  I think all of my readers should do the same thing. If pedicures are not your jam (ha, see what I did there?) then what about a massage? Splurge and hire a housekeeper just for one session. Whatever it is, let’s all just decide this week, to go do that thing. I’m not kidding, let’s make it rain on all of the people who get paid when we decide to spoil ourselves.

And while we’re at it, let’s go ahead and change the language. It’s not “spoiling,” it’s “filling our cup.”

Who’s with me?

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