I am wooing myself. Yep, you read that right, wooing myself. Romancing me. Taking myself out on dates and treating myself like the goddamn queen of everything I am. Well, queen of MY everything at any rate, which includes a dishwasherless kitchen, thousands of loads of laundry, and a coop and barn to muck out regularly.
I made the conscious decision to begin vying for my own affections as years piled upon years, accelerating with alarming speed along the lines in my face and through the quicksilver streaks in my hair, and crashing headlong into the weirdest, strangest, hardest year most of us have seen.
If wooing yourself sounds like an odd thing to do, and I am almost certain it does, just wait until you try it! Ah me! I had no idea how wonderful I could feel sitting in a vibrating chair for an hour, while an angel of God works miracles on my tired legs and feet, leaving me with the prettiest toes a woman with sasquatch size feet never, ever, remotely dreamed possible. You want to get a look at the lovely painted branches sticking out of my log length feet and see for yourself?!
This simple act of self-indulgent self-care was one of the many things I had never allowed myself to enjoy prior to last Fall. My “treat yourself” moments began and ended with what felt like decadent escapes to the beach alone and hikes with my dogs through the woods. Taking myself out and getting something as impractical as a massage, lash extensions, facial, manicure or pedicure as a means of actively loving myself always felt, well, selfish.
There were and are more pressing needs to attend to than wasting money on myself and so I never did. I was the mom who could be seen returning my Christmas and birthday gifts to put towards bills or field trips or dues for school for the children. It was impossible for me to see myself as worthy of “the list” and so I never put myself on it. Mine was an unrequited love. The thing is, however, I AM worthy of “the list”. I deserve to be on my own list, my own calendar, and I needed to make a change.
When the world felt like it was closing in and breaking apart, I couldn’t help but feel that way too. The discussion of self-care became a popular topic everywhere from work, to school, to social media and I was the fiercest advocate. When it came to everyone but me. Co-workers, friends, family members and schoolmates called me out on it. They pushed me and encouraged me to take myself out for my own “date nights”. Or “date days”. I am, after all, well past my late night revelry years and can be found rolling up sidewalks in front of my house shortly after dusk.
Loving myself felt like a revolutionary idea years ago, but though I lost my share of battles, I won that war. Now it was time to put my money where my mouth was, walk the walk, and take myself OUT. I wander around for weeks after getting my nails done, grinning with pleasure at my hands, walking into walls like I’m staring at an engagement ring. It’s such a simple and small thing and yet it makes me happy. I look forward to time with myself. Sometimes I am awash in my feelings, and swimming in my thoughts. Sometimes I am stillness and rest.
“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” ~ Brian Andreas