Taking the Time for Self-Care and Trying Not to Fly So Close to the Sun

Every now and then, you read something that really resonates with you. Five years ago, I read this post from Kristen Howerton on Rage Against the Minivan, which says: “Mark and I have a little phrase we use when we’ve tried to do something awesome that ended up being too much of a good thing: we flew too close to the sun.”

That phrase, flying too close to the sun, is my life so much of the time. Wonder Boy and I get invited to things and our discussion usually goes something like this:

We got invited to do XXX. Wanna do it?

Or

It’s been too long since we’ve done XXX. Let’s schedule some time!

Here’s the part of the discussion we almost never have: ”Hey, our schedule is pretty full. Should we just say no?” Or, “Hey, you look like you’re about to fall asleep walking you’re so tired. Why don’t we pass and take it easy?”

In short, we don’t often say no. When we do, it’s couched in reasons and apologies and niceties. “No” is a complete sentence.* I need to say “No” more often. It’s a part of self-care that I’m not doing.

Around the new year, I did something really unusual for me. I signed up for a daily subscription meditation, self-improvement thing from Daily Om called “A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back!” My reaction to it is about 80% skeptical, but the $10 I spent has been worth a few of the helpful nuggets. This week the focus is on self-care and the question today asked about types of self-care that take us out of our comfort zone. It’s a timely question for me.

Several months back I won a Snooze or Cruise at work, which is a half day you can use without dipping into days off. As a rule, I don’t use time off unless I’m going somewhere. Days off are like gold to me and I carefully protect them. This free half day has been burning a hole in my pocket, though, and I decided to be frivolous with it – at least frivolous by my standards.

Last night I went to the Tegan and Sara concert and it was wonderful. I sang, I danced and stayed up past 1 am on a school night. Before I went to bed, I didn’t set my alarm so I could snooze and show up at work late. You guys! I got out of bed at 11 am. It was glorious! I feel refreshed and happier than I did yesterday. That contest prize was one of the best ones I’ve won and it has me reconsidering (only a little!) my take on the best ways o use paid time off. Doing nothing but sleeping when I could be going somewhere instead is outside of my comfort zone, but this morning was also much-needed self-care.

I’ve been flying way to close to the sun and I need to make some changes. I need to say no more often and with less excuses and I need to take care of myself more.

How do you make time for self-care? And how to you keep from flying too close to the sun? Seriously, I need tips because I need to make this a priority.

*”No” is a complete sentence is not an original thought, but too many people claim it online and in print for me to attribute to anyone accurately.

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