A road map out of ‘Pushing Through’ purgatory
I’m standing in the grocery checkout, in a zombie-frame-of-mind, at the end of a long day. I overhear a dad give his 10-ish-year-old son the thumbs up on a candy bar. Then, I see the boy bust into an obnoxious and hilarious dance move with wild abandon. Imagine some tribal warrior dance.
Remember when you were a kid, and you had a some burning desire to build a snowman, create a fort, run through the woods, or roll down a grassy hill? Close your eyes and think about being a kid and getting some wild urge to do something super fun. For me, it’s a sorta joyful, bursting feeling in my heart.
I think to myself, “When did I stop dancing wildly with joy?” You know this kid didn’t think about breaking out into dance. He simply felt a moment of joy and expressed it. He let it out.
Somewhere between 8 years old and 25, most of us stop listening to those messages from the heart. You see few adults dancing with abandon at the grocery store.
I know I wanted to dance with wild abandon when the pharmacist told me the coupon for my $135 prescription knocked the price down to $35. I didn’t. Where did that joy go? Is it like holding your breath? Am I forcing that little bit of happiness to die a slow death?
Fast forward to this week. I’m listening to someone talk about a trip to Greece. A wave of resentment and discouragement moves through me. If I were to put words to the wave, it would read something like, “I want to do that. I’m frustrated someone else is doing something I want to experience. How in the hell, can I make that happen for me? What if I never get to do that?”
If I dig deeper, thinking about a trip to Greece, and really visualize myself sitting in the sun on the Grecian coast, I don’t feel resentment. Instead, I feel joy. I feel a little of that burst of energy; just like the dancing, candy bar boy.
I have a friend who believes these nudges of jealousy and joy offer us a roadmap to our true selves. As children, we have the abandon to express the energy without much, if any thought. As adults, we lose the abandon and need reprogram ourselves to notice these nudges.
For instance, if you feel like punching someone in the face when they tell you about following through with an item on YOUR bucket list, it’s time to take action. Let that energy out. Don’t allow it to fester and become infected.
Yes, it may be easier for some to take expensive trips without much saving. Nothing, however, is stopping anyone from taking a small action in the direction of a dream.
Nothing before this moment matters. And, there may not be any moments after this one. Make it count. Even if all you can do is put $1 in an envelope for that trip to Rome. Do it. The pressure will lessen on your heart. Take the action, let it go and see what happens.
And, if you feel like dancing in the grocery store. Do it.
The world would be a better place if more adults danced at the grocery store.
I haven’t made the spa appointment, but I did open the “menu!” There a so many choices. It’s a bit overwhelming. Do I want the “Clearly Calming Facial” or the “Scalp-Hand-Foot?”
And, what’s worse, I have a tendency to think, “This will be the only massage/facial/manicure I will have until I die.” Obviously, this puts the pressure on heavy. Like I’m heading to the guillotine, but I can pick one spa treatment at Asheville’s Sensibilities Day Spa before I go. Like spas across the world will blacklist me or something after one visit. Not true and misguided thinking.
It’s so easy for me to make my daily to-do lists with 15–20 items revolving around everyone’s needs. Even the guinea pig made the list today, as he frequently does. Hedgepig needs “organic” hay. REALLY. I buy him organic hay.
So, where was my “Make a spa appointment?” Not on the list. Seriously. Even after putting an essay out there promoting selfcare.
So much easier for me to deprive and wish of things I want for myself, then, wanna punch someone in the face when THEY follow through on their selfcare.
Need to remind myself, “You can have a massage and go back for another!” Crazy talk.
Last night, I fell asleep without putting in my mouthguard. I grind my teeth terribly. I consider it selfcare that I got up later in the night, went to the bathroom to get my guard. I know, not ground-breaking progress, but still.
Took a few bubble baths this week, and I got up an hour early one morning to enjoy the quiet.
I didn’t, however, do a good job planning the selfcare daily. For this week, I want to be mindful about the day ahead and what selfcare I plan.
Things nudging me this week:
-Have tea at Dobra with the cheesy biscuits.
-Go for a walk in the sun.
-Schedule a haircut.
-Add category for trip to ??? in my spending plan.
-Buy some new, decadent sheets and pillow cases.