Last week, I started seeing a therapist. It’s been a decade since I last had therapy as part of my life, and considering my current chronically overscheduled self, not to mention my divorce (among other things), it was high time I started going again. Yesterday was only session two, but I already have homework: intentional self care. No screens, no friends, no multi-tasking, no direction. Just a half hour minimum per day of doing something aimless for myself.
Much easier said than done. While going on a walk, sitting by the river, or drinking a cup of tea are all things I do with some frequency, they are rarely alone and never aimless. I go on a walk to a store with a friend, sit by the river or drink a cup of tea while reading a book (that I probably have some mild amount of guilt for reading if it’s fiction, because shouldn’t I always be reading things to expand my mind and better myself?). Always, always, always multi-tasking. Which is why the idea of relaxing for the sake of relaxing is unbearably difficult for me.
So today was day 1 of my new, prescribed, hopefully someday to be a routine, self care. I went on what ended up being a 40 minute walk around the neighborhood a few moments of which I found myself able to relax, breathe, and be. Sure I spent the first five minutes talking myself out of needing to plan a route in advance. Certainly I spent a good portion of the middle of my time planning the photo walk I am leading for work this evening. But for at least a few moments I lost myself in myself, the sunshine, lovely gardens, and woodpecker drilling on a nearby tree enough to return me to the drifting contemplative revelry I have found on walks in years past.
So here’s to finding new practices that, no matter how difficult despite seeming simplicity, I will commit to in hopes of living a deep life of both joy and peace.