Be self-ish, not elfish.
|December 8, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Seasonal|
Listen up. This is big. Ready? Self-ish is beautiful.
What?! Bear with this self-ish chick for a sec. Let’s take that word back right now. Self-ish = self caring. Self caring = a happier, more fulfilled you who can genuinely give to & care for loved ones. Therefore, self-ish = loving. Read on….
So how are your holidays going so far? What’s your stress-o-meter reading? Full-tilt yet?
I just spoke with a dear friend who’s had no time to breathe between major life events: dog death; marriage & honeymoon; another dog death; adopting 2 sibling pups (Nixon & Lola); & then being all-things-to-all-people for 2 straight days over Thanksgiving. She wondered why she found herself stuck on the couch for the rest of Thanksgiving weekend, watching stupid TV, covered in blankets & puppies. I’m quoting her shock: “I felt gross. I never do that!” My loving reply: “Yes you do, girl. When you’re running on empty you do. Couch time is self-ish time. Recharge. Don’t judge yourself. Who cares, really? Of course, I would ask hubs to brew up some mulled wine, girlfriend. Once you’re under blankets & puppies, it’s full-on DND (do not disturb) mode.”
I could go on about friends’ current depleted states.
(All women, so far. I’m not sexist, but ladies, do you sense a theme here?) One spunky-smart gal posted her cringe-worthy, must-do list on Facebook recently. With her permission, here’s her mid-holiday agenda from hell:
“This house looks like:
* A tornado went through it.
* WalMart’s Christmas department exploded in my kitchen & living room.
* Tree is half decorated.
* The floor looks like the floor in a forest.
* The dogs need a bath.
* AND- if [hubby] takes nap I will have to do all quietly & not go into our room.
* Packages from OCTOBER need to be shipped.
* Patio being tiled – need to move all the furniture.
* New counter tops being installed – all cupboards need to be emptied.
* No water to kitchen for at least the weekend.”
This is all hot on the heels of her recovering from illness; adopting & housetraining Presto, a papillon puppy (dog #2); & caring for a cold-addled hubby. Yep, he’s a snotty, chicken soup guzzling, whiny baby right now. We all wish him good health, asap. Lord, girl…. breathe.
My turn. A Christmas-past taught me endless unforgettable life lessons. I’ll share one with you….
Visiting family spent a few days in the city near us, while I single-handedly elfed-out my house. I stayed home to do it because I also had to watch over Gumbo, our epileptic boxer who only seized @ night. Boarding him while I enjoyed the city with family wasn’t an option. So my sweet boxer boy and I happily & manically decked the halls. He was blissfully naked except for doggie antlers, and I didn’t shower for days. I told you: a manic hot mess. Finally, family arrived. I had barely cleaned myself up by then, & my pup was SO over the antlers. But the house was lovely. Yet no one thanked me.
That Christmas eve, Gumbo had a seizure @ 2 am.
I stayed up with him, relaxing him as he came to. While everyone slept, he & I spooned on his dog bed under the warm glow of the tree’s lights. I cherish that memory. That’s when I should have stopped. But I kept elfing & it wasn’t pretty. Ultimately, I ended up in bed for hours once the house was empty, unable to move because I, too, was empty. I was beyond benefiting from the blanket-and-puppy therapy that helped my friend. Forget the mulled wine. I was beyond vodka’s help. And that’s something.
If you do this to yourself, do it for yourself. Don’t do it for gratitude or to impress. Be a self-ish elf. Get high on bad Christmas music, spiked eggnog & cookies you didn’t bake. Get naked, decorate & dance with your grinning, bare-butt, antler-wearing dog. Trust me. Do it. Who cares? Your dog won’t tell. And he won’t put it up on YouTube. (Well, your border collie might.)
Yesterday, my mom & I had a good laugh.
We both confessed that we have to clean our houses before the wonderful folks who occasionally clean our houses arrive. That’s insane. (I blame it on genetics.) Yes, it’s a first-world “problem” – I know. But you get the point. Stop the perfectionist circus. Be self-ish, not elfish. Set up boundaries: get really good @ saying “no”. Practice in the mirror if you need to. (Don’t practice on your dog; you’ll confuse her.) People who matter will understand & respect you for it. Others (haters, narcissists & users) don’t matter. You know who they are in your life. They will use you until you’re empty. Just say no to them. Walk away; you’ll be happier. No one sane will notice if you don’t OCD-clean the house. People are not thinking about you as much as you think they are. Do your holiday shopping in a pony tail, sweats & no makeup, girl. Call it cozy-chic couture & have a mimosa before storming the mall. We’re all on the same carousel with crazed carnival clowns this time of year. But this is not your circus & those are not your monkeys. Breathe. Laugh. Love. Be a self-ish bitch, I dare you. Elves are ridiculous.
I took my own advice this year.
I spent Thanksgiving in Kaua’i with my brother’s family. I faced fears and did things that I never thought I’d do: 1st solo plane ride, a helicopter tour, bikini-ed beaching, and zip lining. Yep, I was a bikini-wearing, screaming zip-lining fool. There’s no better cure for elfdom than risking life, limb & dignity with loving family members. Sometimes a girl just needs to jump off a cliff – a dozen times or so – to get her head on straight. I’m grateful to my bro’s family for the invite. I’m grateful that my pushy girlfriends all said, “Just GO!!”. I’m happier & Rusty’s happier. This loving, self-ish bitch is back. Elves drool!
Now it’s your turn. Had any foolish elf moments? How did you recover?
What self-ish self care gets you through the holidays? Big or small, every recharging moment counts. Do tell. C’mon, it’s cathartic! We wish you truly happy, elf-free holidays! xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet