#SelfCareSunday

As part of my Recovery journey, I recently started #SelfcareSunday. I take Sunday to sleep in, turn my ph to mute including staying off Social Media; and only check it every hour or so to make sure I haven’t missed any urgent messages. I read, meditate, walk, write, and often cook. Its just a day to reset…

Today I did something that, on the face of it, may not look like #SelfCare – I deep cleaned my bedroom and bathroom. Both desperately in need of a declutter and a nook and cranny clean. The Catalyst? We have a new bed arriving tomorrow. Nothing cool or classy or cute. It’s an Orthopedic bed to take my husband’s needs into account. To say I have been ambivalent about its arrival would be an understatement Lol.  It feels 1 step away from Rest Home for me; and is an outward symbol of how I really am not where I thought I would be at 56.

The tribulations that have hit my whanau over the last 15 years or so, have been the gift that just keeps on giving.  I don’t intend this to read as a Pity Party for One; just some thoughts that have been swirling in my head for a while.

My husband’s health issues will really colour the rest of our lives. Our reality is nothing like the retirement we were contemplating. Our day to day life is quieter and less full than we had imagined; outings need to be planned and scheduled – spontaneity is harder.. There will be travel, but it will be very structured, with many rest days thrown in, and seeing and doing less than we had thought we could.   And the delay caused by Covid is really going to impact on all of that too. Who knows how much we will be able to do in a couple of years’ time…

I see my friends moving into the next phase of their lives, downsizing, empty nesting, finding new interests; and trying new things. My family’s circumstances mean that the empty nesting and downsizing can’t happen. I do Love this old house; she serves us well. But she is certainly not streamlined or modern. And being large, she has certainly filled up over the years Lol. But the I often find the amount of stuff in her quite tiring, not restful. And very first worldly I had been looking forward to a more modern kitchen, an easier to clean bathroom – oh and a space easier to keep warm in winter 😉

I have started decluttering again, which is very cathartic. But, as I am the main conduit for actually removing stuff from the place, it’s a tiring process. But with each drawer and cupboard done, I can feel it lightening. And there are joys to be found in memories discovered in the bottoms of drawers and the back of cupboards. Kids artwork; photos; bits of jewellery, books to be re-read. Repurposing furniture. Using some cute boxes for storage of only things we need to keep… And part of the process is also creating a space that is just mine. Storing my art and craft materials all in one place – instead of squirrelled away all over the house. And a space that is all mine. It occurred to me that everyone here has “their” space – except me. All my spaces are shared..

Saying goodbye to the old bed has been weird. It arrived after my babies did, and the room we’re in is a different one to the one I shared with my bairns when they were brand new. But it has seen its share of middle of the night cuddles with those who couldn’t sleep. Early morning snuggles with toddlers. And full of crumbs from those Mother’s Day’s breakfast of charred toast and cold hot chocolate… And where we all gathered during a particularly long power cut.  Its where I recuperated from major surgery. It’s been where I escaped to to have long chats with good friends – away from the noise and chaos of family life. It was the bed I finally bought that really good high thread count linen for…

So how does this all relate to #SelfcareSunday? As I sit here physically exhausted, wondering if I will be able to move tomorrow, I can reflect on a job well done. There is much satisfaction in crossing a biggie off the to do list. And one of the things I have long wanted to do, is to make our bedroom a less cluttered space. A serene space, which will hopefully improve my sleep. (As a compromise to me, the new bed will soon be festooned with fairy lights. Pretty sure Him Indoors will not understand, but it will make it feel more positive for me.) I see today’s efforts an investment in our future health. His physical, and mine Mental. A calmer, cleaner, easier to maintain space. One that feels lighter.

I’ve also been working on “Accepting the Things I cannot Change”… It turns out acceptance has an element of grief in it. You have to grieve the things, hopes, dreams, expectations that you are letting go. And say goodbye to the person you thought you would be. I’m not there yet; But today was a good lunge in the right direction….

Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance
-Gautama Buddha

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