Sunday, September 20, 2009


I want to take better care of myself, and I have realized that to do that, I need to be more kind to myself.

One thing I've (finally) figured out is that being a perfectionist is toxic. It's fine to have a commitment to doing good work, producing useful ideas/documents/lessons/etc, but insisting on perfection is prideful and controlling. It's unkind. I'm trying to let that go.

I am also taking more opportunities to relax. I'm still using my little yoga book to practice yoga poses every day. When I finish, I feel stretched, strengthened, and more relaxed. I notice that I've been sleeping a LOT better since I started practicing yoga. My favorite yoga to do is a series of 18 poses called the "strengthening series" in this book. Other places I've heard it called the "sun salutation."  (I found a cool little animated guy doing the sun salutation here. The series I am currently practicing actually has a several additional poses added in to it. It took me a couple of weeks just to memorize the sequence of poses, but now I can go through all 18 without looking at the book.)

Another way I have found to relax recently is to help myself fall asleep by counting grandbabies. If I'm awake in the middle of the night, I imagine each one in his or her bed and how he or she might look asleep. If it's an afternoon nap, I imagine each one at play or schoolwork. The other day I had a tension headache and went upstairs to take a nap. I was going through each of the little ones, starting with Julia's kids, and then down through each of my children in order, and I only made it as far as Rebecca before I was asleep! I had to count the rest of the grandchildren when I woke up--headache free--20 minutes later.

I am also being more kind to myself by honoring more of my own wishes, ones that I have so often decided weren't important. They are little things, but they make me feel more loved and cared for, even if I myself am the one doing the loving and caring! Taking time to rub my feet with lotion when they are tired and sore. Stopping by Dairy Queen for a Dilly Bar on my way to a meeting at the district office. Buying a new pair of pants for myself that actually fit and feel comfortable, when the ones in the closet have gotten too tight (what's up with that?). Buying a yoga book on the play day Mark and I took out to the coast.

Mark and I have scheduled a play day on one Saturday a month. The play days are on the calendar, and we are committed to not scheduling other things on those days. We tell others (or ourselves), "Sorry, I'm not available that day. I have a previous commitment." On our September play day we went out to the coast for the day. We haven't decided yet what we will do on our October play day, but we're hoping to make it an overnighter. These play days are actually dates - just for Mark and me - to stay connected with each other and with our playful selves.

It's just another way to be kind.


Dorothy said...

As one who could easily be charged with being a bit "too relaxed", I applaud your decision to loosen up and become a little more kind to yourself. Then maybe I won't feel as guilty watching you do everything so perfectly! (Actually, I really don't stress over that much...just a thought now and then...but I'm so "loose" that it slides off rather quickly :)

Hey, I love your little yoga guy link. Looks likes something I need to try!

Katie said...

speaking of yoga, if you ever have questions, karlyn teaches yoga. i, by the way, am terrible at it.

Polly said...

Well, you can picture Rebecca sleeping (at leasthalf the time) in the pack-and-play now. We all got a great night sleep and she only woke me up once!

Hillary said...

What great things you're deciding to do! (or not do too, I guess.) :) That's also great that you realize those thing that will help you to be kinder and happier. AND YEAH FOR YOGA! :) I took a class when I was up at school and it was totally fun and relaxing. I can totally see what you mean. Very cool.