Being a friend to yourself is good self-care. It costs no money and you don’t have to get on a plane. There are times to pay the money and take the holiday, go to the spa, or take out a gym membership. But what if funds and even time are short?
I’m seriously practicing with this notion. For instance, last evening I had commitments that lasted until 10:30. However, I knew it was the night of the beautiful, June Strawberry Moon and there were clear skies. It would have been easy to tumble into bed, but I didn’t want to miss it. So, I chose to take a walk down to the canal, and coincidentally, my friend arrived home just at that time and joined me. Honestly, it was delightful. A warm summery night where the air felt like silk and the sky was clear. The walk was refreshing and fun and the moon took up half the sky. (a slight exaggeration) Coming back along Bank St, shortly after eleven, was a rare experience and not only was I not tired I was refreshed and had a great night’s sleep.
This is the thing. I really wanted to see that supermoon and it would have been easy to let it go. There will always be another moon, a common refrain. But will there? Beyond our mortality, it was a friendly thing to do for my own heart, on a special night in June. Just for myself and just for the beauty of it. And now I get to tell you.
This morning I had an appointment at 9:00 in a different part of Ottawa where I had not been before. I chose to leave earlier than usual because it is peony season and I guessed there might be some beauties in that neighbourhood. As it turned out I got to spend 15 minutes admiring peonys and taking photos. Here is one of my favourites. I like the three different stages of the flower. And my appointment went exceedingly well too. No rushing.
On the weekend My granddaughter Sophie, the puppy Sasha and I visited Rockcliffe Park, a fifteen-minute drive from home. This is a park I kept saying I would like to visit but never did. As we drove along we reminisced about other childhood outings we had taken in that neighborhood and I felt that little flood of warmth from the good memories. And we agreed to return, this summer, perhaps with a picnic lunch. It was a simple joy on a Saturday afternoon.
It is so easy not to do things. Especially when we have lots on our plate.
When we are dealing with a serious illness, and other difficult matters, our own or a family member’s, so much of our life is out of our direct control. In fact, we may never have imagined that we would face such a challenging set of circumstances. It is way too easy to ignore our own well-being.
These are the times when we are even more in need of each other, as well as beauty, laughter, a few good words, imagination, curiosity and possibilities. And we can learn to be a friend to ourselves and say, yes, every day to something quite ordinary but special to us. It is a mistake to wait for things to improve or be less hectic. That doesn’t happen. We make time, and we take time every single day to do one thing that revives our spirits. This includes seeing our friends. Our circumstances may be such that we ask another friend to free us up an hour or two, in order to do so.
What goes around, comes around. We are here to help and be helped. It is easier, at first, to be the helper but it is a wondrous gift to learn to ask for help when we need it. Step back a little and ask what you could do to be a friend to yourself. I see it now as a practice. I am not always good at it but this month I am more conscious.
Let’s face it. When we take a little care of ourselves through the good times we are better equipped to do so through the challenging ones. So, no matter what, it’s best to get started. A guide to befriending yourself is to treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend. It is as simple and as difficult as that.
1:) No, that moon photo is not mine. Capturing the moon is challenging and this one is thanks to Soly Moses and Pexels, a free source of photographs. I hope you get to see it too.
2:) Consider starting something now for your future self. Maybe it is a daily walk, growing a plant, meditating, flossing your teeth, or changing your sheets before you head off on a trip. How nice it will feel to return to a freshly made bed. So many ways to be a friend to yourself.
3:) We are coming up to the longest day of the year – next Tuesday. I wonder what you do, if anything, to celebrate this interesting day.
4:) Thank you for stopping by. Warmest wishes to you all, Trudy