Moderation and Self-Care

The older I get, the more consistency and moderation seem to be the keys to a happy, well-adjusted life. Unfortunately, those aren’t really my strong points. I often worry I only have two settings: either way-too-laid-back or pushing-myself-way-too-hard. I tend to oscillate between the two, sometimes within the same day.

In case you’re getting lost in my cloud of ambiguity, I’ll try to offer at least one concrete example. I love to-do lists. Christine loves to-do apps, but I love to-do lists. I use them as a sort of disorganized mind-dump. Typically, I never even reference them after writing them down. The act of writing them out is usually enough for me to mentally organize my life.  I write them all over the place: notebooks, napkins, on backs of receipts and envelopes, the corners of crossword puzzles. This habit comes in phases though. The times I have energy, I write list after list, packing my free time with errands and chores. Then, I inevitably burn out and and spend a week exhausted and unmotivated, planning nothing, doing everything only when it absolutely needs to get done. Eventually, I regroup and repeatedly kick myself until I start a new list, and the cycle continues.

I do consider myself a competent person. I get everything done that needs done. But ultimately, I want to better about self-care. I want to be aware of my personal needs, when I need to rest or slow down. I want to learn to listen to my body when it tells me I’m pushing too hard, rather than only realizing it the next morning when I wake up sore and in pain. I want to stop viewing my health as an obstacle, something to put on the back burner in pursuit of all of my other goals.

I’m not sure how to fit that in a concise bucket list bullet point, but there it is.


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