I have learned a lot of important things over the past few months. I’ve learned how badly people need each other, how we are meant to care for and be cared for by others. I’ve learned about grief, the process of grieving, the value of it, the necessity of it. I’ve learned that love is indeed as strong as death, and that both can fill your heart and break it at any moment. And I’ve learned that taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be selfish. We get the feeling that it is, but it isn’t. Taking care of yourself does not preclude you from taking care of others. In fact, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you possibly take care of anyone else?
Will and I have always found that we take turns feeling good and bad, confident and scared, okay and not okay. We often feel good at the same time, but we seldom feel bad at the same time, and that works out nicely because when one of us feels bad, the other can be the caretaker. When one of us feels sick, the other can bring soup and juice. When one of us feels sad, the other can be there to offer comfort. And we’ve always given ourselves and each other permission to feel the bad things. It’s the only way to work through them. Even if I just feel cranky, I tell him, and he says, “I’m sorry you feel cranky. Is there anything I can do?” Sometimes there is. Sometimes I would feel a lot better if he took something off my plate or hugged me or talked it out with me. Sometimes there is nothing that he can do, but if I can rest and be alone for a while, that helps. Either way, he helps me take care of myself, and I try to do the same for him.
We’re doing a lot of self-care this week. We’ve taken a whole week off, and we’re in the mountains resting and celebrating our first/second anniversary. We’ve been married for a year, but we’ve been together for two. This week, here’s what self-care looks like for us:
- sleeping in
- sitting in our jacuzzi tub
- watching movies
- enjoying nature
- doing fun things
- being active
- eating good food
Shoot, I may even get a pedicure. The resort where we’re staying gave us a coupon for $12 off any spa service, and with that, their pedicures are still overpriced, but we’ll see. That may be just the thing I need.