Self-Care, Self-Aware, Boundaries


I don’t have them always and typically I am wildly uncomfortable when I assert them.

But.

Assert them I do.

And then I find a kind of freedom that I never knew existed.

Having suddenly a person in my life with whom I am spending a lot of time with I am getting to explore what those things mean to me.

I have also realized that I can be flexible and have fun, that in the space where I get out of my routine is usually where God wants to show me something.

The comfort of a routine I cannot emphasize enough.

I know this stems from the unknowable and often unpredictable raising of me as a child.

There was no routine.

There was no normal.

“Normal,” my friend reminds me, “is a setting on a dryer.”

What is normal?

I don’t know, but I do know what sane thinking is and I have had a lot of that recently.

Also some insane thinking too, I will admit it.

The stuff with graduate school is really blowing me out, or I am letting myself be prey to the victimized idea that I can’t figure it out, that I can’t be perfect, so why even bother trying?

How about trying to have some humility?

Some patience and self-care and self-love?

How about that?

Perhaps that’s where I should start.

What makes me happy?

Oh.

Bill Withers.

Let’s listen to some Lovely Day, that will help.

Let me cook some nice breakfast and have a cup of coffee.

Let me write some in my notebook.

“Get the recovery for yourself that you wish she had,” I told her this afternoon as she rumpled through her hair.  I resisted trying to settled the frantic birds that were her hands from tearing and twisting her hair.

“I don’t get it,” she said, “it just doesn’t make sense.”

Nope.

It doesn’t.

Not when I often forget to use the oxygen mask myself before I go to help another.

My thinking can go to zero to crazily obsessed with certain people, places, or things, and then I’m living in the world of “could, should, or would,” reacting or not reacting, or rather reacting as opposed to acting, trying to figure out what is right or wrong, good or bad.

I put my judgements on the situation or person or thing.

Financial aid you stump me.

Syllabus you stump me.

I surrender.

I give up.

Excuse me.

I need to go make a cup of tea.

I don’t need to browbeat myself because I don’t know.

I can ask for help.

So I took the phone number down of the financial aid office and also the business office of the school and prepared what questions I need to ask.

Then I looked up the program co-ordinator and sent her a e-mail asking what would be the most efficient way of gathering my books and reading materials, that I felt flummoxed by the process.

Did she have any suggestions for me?

For instance I saw the reader for one of my classes listed on Amazon for $150.

Then I saw it listed elsewhere for way cheaper, but a different printing and a different adjunct editor.

So which one do I buy?

Or which addition?

And see.

Like that.

There I go obsessing about it.

So Stop.

Stop it now.

I just wrote all that down and put it in my God box.

I don’t have to figure it out now.

I don’t have to figure it out at all.

There are people whose specific job is to advise new student.

Just because I have a BA in English Literature does not mean I know how to proceed forward with what it takes to be a Psychology Masters student.

I’m not supposed to know.

If I knew what I was doing I wouldn’t need to go to school.

My friend saw me getting ramped up and said, “you need a hug.”

Yup.

I do.

I need a lot of hugs.

I am good at giving them out, but not always good at asking for them.

It’s taken me a long time, a lot of work, and continuous practice to ask for what I need and there are still plenty of times when I go tharn and just can’t do it.

I get into that mode of self-sufficiency as I am so scared to rely on anyone that I must figure it all out and have it all ready before you even have entered the room to help me that I won’t have to have your help.

Asking for help is not shameful.

Note to self.

I get to treat myself like the three-year old I take care of.

I was sitting in a room, a warm room, did you feel how warm it was today in San Francisco, even now, my back door on the in-law is open and I am in a sundress and bare feet and my cup of tea is almost too hot to drink, almost.

And I was meditating.

The sun was slanting through the windows and the breeze was warm and the twilight hours in summer, my favorite light, and I could feel myself basking in it.

Light is God.

A hot shower is God.

Love is God.

The ocean is God.

Having been filled with the light I can always turn towards the source and get more.

I saw this when I was deep into it, without thought or warning, I heard a man’s voice, deep, Southern, thick with Texan drawl say in my heart, “take your little girls hand and let her know you’re taking care of her, and she will be alright.  I don’t care if you think that’s silly or stupid, do it anyway.”

I reached out to her.

She was sitting on the kitchen floor of my grandmother’s kitchen in a yellow sundress with white polka dots, I reached out to her from my heart in my pale blue dress with its froth of crinoline underneath it and took her hand, then I turned and I reached out toward the light and took the hand offered there.

I am taken care of.

I am loved.

And tonight I will tuck in that little girl and smooth back the hair from her forehead and let her know she is loved and taken care of.

I’ll be alright.

Because I already am.

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