Every Now and Then…Or Not

I’ve made it to the age where sometimes I hurt myself sleeping. You know, like you go to bed feeling good, and then you wake up in the morning wondering if a professional wrestler snuck in, covertly kicked your butt without waking you up, and then left you bruised and broken with all sorts of things hurting that felt fine the night before? (Is it just me?)

Anyway- I got a massage last weekend, and before we got started, the therapist was asking me how things had been going, what I’d been up to, about my family, etc. I told her it had been a really busy season with work and that we had some challenges we’d been working through on the home front, too. Also that I had been traveling for work. And that my 4-year-old had been having sleep issues which led to me having sleep issues. And that I’d started back up at the gym again and was finally back into a regular routine, which was great, but my trainer at the gym sometimes confused me for a professional athlete, so I was more sore than usual. Oh yeah, and that I had more work travel coming up. And that I was getting up extra early to work on my novel in the mornings with a writer’s group. And that I was trying to plan for my 10-year wedding anniversary and my Dad’s birthday. And that I’d unexpectedly come across some photos of my Mom who has passed on, but she was my best friend and it has caused some emotional upheaval. 

Yeah, just all of that. 

Without missing a beat, she chirped, “Well, it’s good that you’re treating yourself. You’ve got to do that every now and then.” 

I started to nod (as I was swallowing down the lump in my throat), but then I thought, every now and then? Maybe she wasn’t actually listening to me when I had just listed off everything that had been going on. That was a LOT. Heck, the lump in my throat was there because I hadn’t actually listed out all of that stuff all at once, and some of it caught me a little off guard. 

I’m ready to disrupt the concept of “every now and then” when it comes to self-sustenance. I used to use the phrase self-care frequently, but the more I’ve done some of my own work in this area, the more it’s clear that self-sustenance is a term that’s more appropriate and resonant. And when it becomes sustenance, it’s clear that it’s an every dang day thing, not and every now and then thing. 

Maybe it’s my inner teenager longing for more fishnet stockings and patent leather Doc Martens, but I’m feeling a bit rebellious around this topic, and the “every now and then” statement has gotten wedged deep inside me in a way that’s prompting me to take much more intentional action steps. It’s also helping me look at the people around me differently- WOW, so many of us are really running near depletion. We reserve things that actually fuel us and give us life energy for “treats” instead of leveraging them to elevate our way of living and how we feel going about our days.

Well, I’m done with that. (Or at least I’m intending to be. I mean, hey, undoing 4 decades of thought frameworks and living a certain way doesn’t always happen overnight.) Every now and then no longer applies when it comes to my self-sustenance. I deserve more than that.

And so do you. 

- Nicole



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