Self-care is one of those topics you should just never get me started on. It presses a HEAP of my scholarly and social justice buttons as well as the cranky tired parent ones, and boy does that combo make for a ranty old rant.
But, it was GHF’s theme in November, so, I got started.
I wrote and chopped, wrote and chopped, all through October. And November.
Aaaand, December, before the usual implosion (remember for us, that month brings the end of the school year along with everything else).
And then, during an utterly exhausting and otherwise disappointing family “holiday”, I heard some podcasts that parted the clouds like rays from God. I’m not being facetious; I’m pretty thoroughly anti-religion, but the idea of God itself – pure love, in all its incomprehensible, everyday might? Totally here for that.
Those pods were lightning bolts to the half-formed ideas thickening in my head. They whipped through millennia of phylogeny in a couple of hours and lo, not only do they walk, they were sparky and appealing. They bumped together and begat more ideas, and those ideas ran around like feral children, tipping things over and swinging from my mental chandeliers. Man, I was excited, for a while there.
But, January has carried on like a pork chop, as my sister says. I’ve no idea what it means, but if it’s something like, “constant frolicking right on the brink of disaster”, then that sums things up pretty well. COVID has finally arrived in Queensland along with the first proper rainy season in years, so we’re watching the numbers skyrocket and the food chains collapse, you can’t buy masks or RATs anywhere, and care for Mum has become muuuuuch more challenging. There’s flooding and a plague of lawn grubs eating everything except that vine, which is growing 15-20cms a DAY. Then there’s completely unrelated, extra shenanigans inside my house, because THAT’S HOW IT WORKS. The TL;DR version is that, we are all – for now – mostly well, though sister and I both look and feel like we’ve been in the ring with the Hulk.
Still, all that really focused my mind on the idea of self-care. I’ve considered it while coaxing Mr Pixel out of bed in the mornings (just), waiting for Telehealth appointments, driving to and from Mum’s, walking her, sitting with her, sitting with yet another poorly hen, cruising empty supermarket aisles, coaxing both kids outdoors, coaxing both kids to eat, coaxing Mr Pixel into sleep (aiming for the same day as he woke; generally failing), sitting with anxious kids at one or two or three a.m. Yep, plenty of time to THINK about it.
So 2022 starts with a four-parter. First I need to unpack why self care bugs me so. Then I want to explore a couple cranky different ways of thinking about self care, and finally I’ll develop that into some themes for the year. It’s kinda what I’ve been doing all along, but, I dunno. Benefit of a short attention span and no medium-term memory, I guess; it feels fresh.
(I know, ermahgerd, a PLAN! Whatever next, punctuality? Remembering where I put things?!)
Anyway. That’s coming. Right now, here, it’s 12:30 and I have a kid who still hasn’t eaten breakfast; their synapses have shut so far down I’m not sure they can eat. Excuse me while I go try to reanimate them using only very limited supermarket staples and Mum power.