Self-Care in the Fall

Recently I wrote about how my experience at a job I didn’t find fulfilling helped me solidify my decision to be a stay-at-home mom. (You can read that post here). My last day of that job was just before Thanksgiving. After a wonderful holiday with my family, I wrote the following in my journal:

Mon, Nov 28, 2016

You know that episode of Full House where Michelle Tanner never wants to go to bed because she is so convinced that life after hours is a blast? The family brings in like a miniature pony or something and lets her stay up late. I forget the point of the episode, but it doesn’t matter. Today, I didn’t have to go to work… you know, because I quit my job… and guess what? My house is the equivalent of the five-year-old-riding-a-miniature-pony-after-bedtime-dream. Round about 11am I came downstairs at my husband’s beckoning. I was carrying a pile of work and bills prepared to finally tackle everything I’ve been putting off. What do I find? Kenny has just made me a big breakfast and everybody is hunkered down in the living room sipping tea and reading by the fire. Seriously? This is what you guys do while I’m crying at my desk at work all day? You have GOT to be kidding me.

I remember dropping my pile on the kitchen table and going right back upstairs for a book. My brother and I posted up in that living room for a solid week burning through a mountain of wood and reading books. This was exactly what I needed after months of stress at work and a series of family tragedies. Until I arrived in that living room, I didn’t even know how badly I needed to be there.

There’s something life-giving about the still of a room with a crackling fire, the warmth of a cup of tea when the air turns crisp in the fall, and the quiet company of a reading companion. This is my favorite kind of self-care. It’s also the form of self-care I least often indulge in. Setting up that kind of tranquility takes intention and purpose. You never accidentally end up with beautiful quiet by the fire and no work or phones distracting you. Well, maybe you do. I don’t. I definitely wouldn’t have had it that day or that week if somebody else hadn’t set it up for me and reminded me how perfect it feels.

Today marks two weeks until my mom comes to stay to help with the baby (she’s coming a week early just in case). I am trying to soak up all the self-care I can while I have the apartment all to my self so I’m trying to recreate that week. I have had to adapt slightly because we have no fireplace here and our sleek leather couch is chilly and slippery rather than cozy. Also, I have no books here, like physical books. Well, I have two books here, but they aren’t ones I’m currently reading. So earlier today, I brought my rocking chair downstairs, made some tea (my midwife has me drinking this), opened the windows to let in the fresh fall-like air, and sat down with my iPad to read. 🙂

What do you do for self-care? Any suggestions?

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