Caring, Respect, and Balance: Treating Myself Like a Friend

It’s Saturday, noon-ish, and I have several free hours ahead of me. My son has ball hockey and my daughter has hockey practice, but I’m otherwise available to do…stuff. My mind is awhirl with the many projects I’d like to tackle, from organizing the pantry to baking to practicing some yoga, and I know from experience that if I don’t make a plan for my day, I will fritter it away and be overcome with guilt and regret for my missed opportunity right around 7pm.

The Projects

  1. clean out and organize the pantry
  2. go for a walk
  3. practice yoga
  4. bake brownies with ghost Peeps on top
  5. spend half an hour working on my writing
  6. buy new skates, hockey gloves, and a helmet
  7. make a meal plan and shopping list for the next two weeks
  8. gather documents I need for the meeting I have at the bank on Monday
  9. watch a Halloween movie with the kids
  10. clean off 2 shelves in my closet
  11. prepare cards for our Halloween countdown activities for the next week
  12. work on the items I need to prepare for my life coaching session on Monday
  13. wash the living room throws
  14. bake some cookies – try a new recipe

Can I accomplish all of these today? Not a chance. I’m an unrealistic overachiever, but even I know that plowing through this list would be a herculean feat, so let’s break it down.

My Top 3 (start with these, and move on from there)

  1. Go for a walk
  2. Practice yoga
  3. Prepare cards for our Halloween countdown activities for the next week

My Top 10 (if I power through all of this, I’d be damned shocked)

  1. Go for a walk
  2. Practice yoga
  3. Prepare cards for our Halloween countdown activities for the next week
  4. Bake brownies with ghost Peeps on top
  5. Watch a Halloween movie with the kids
  6. Clean out and organize the panty
  7. Gather documents I need for the meeting I have at the bank on Monday
  8. Clean off 2 shelves in my closet
  9. Wash the living room throws
  10. Spend half an hour working on my writing

Though I love the feeling of accomplishment, I must, at the same time, balance it with my recovery from a nasty cold/flu that knocked me down about 2 weeks ago and continues to affect me. The satisfaction of a tidier house and personal progress certainly won’t be enough to counterbalance my chagrin at suffering a relapse and making myself sick(er) again. Caring for myself and respect for my body must come before everything else. “They,” whoever “they” are, say to treat yourself the way you would treat a friend, and that’s what I’m trying to do: treating myself with kindness and recognizing that my inner drive to feel productive is not going to do my body good. If I can manage to be kind to myself, then I will truly have accomplished something.

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