Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2/52 :: nurture.

We spend a lot of time in our home talking about personality types -- our MBTI results, what they mean and how they make us better (or worse). 

As an INTJ, I am a big believer is knowing yourself well, and as I've become better and better at being a business owner, I've become worse and worse at taking care of myself. I am so good at seeing the bigger picture, but I often fail at recognizing the details. In our house, we call those details "S-tasks," a reference to the MBTI letter missing from both of our personality types. 

If you're familiar with the Myers-Briggs, you know that the N and the S stand for intuition and sensing, respectively. I think there's often a lot of confusion as to what those letters really mean, but basically, it boils down to whether you're a big picture person or a detail-oriented person. In our home, we are big picture people. We sit and read and watch movies and talk about theology and brainstorm about our future plans. We do not frequently clean the baseboards, and our refrigerator tends to house a lot of expired food.

We know these truths about ourselves, and we are trying harder to become better. We will always be big picture, deep-thinking people -- it's in our nature, and it's not going away. (And I am more than okay with it.) But as we nearer the 30 mark, we're realizing there are some things we need to change. 

The good news is, we are beings created to change, so entering 2015, I am neither daunted nor scared.

I simply need to take better care of myself. 

In all of the household details I tend to ignore, I ignore my own details the most. I let my prescriptions sit at the pharmacy for days; books go unread on my nightstand. I miss doctor's appointments and visits with friends. I work until my back aches and my brain feels fuzzy, until I find myself crying in the shower with sore feet and a sleepy head. 

2014 was a wonderful year for me and for Jordan. The business did incredibly well, and I became a lot better at running the shop. There is so much room for improvement, but I admit I'm breathing a little easier as we enter 2015. I'm hopeful by reaching a point of confidence and comfort in the business (which I know might wane at any moment; bookselling is not a stable industry by any means), I might be more capable of taking care of myself.

My word for the year is nurture. It stems from this idea of self-care, from reaching for my own oxygen mask before I help put on anyone else's.
And it won't be easy, not for me. I think self-care is tough for a lot of women, but it's tough mostly because women tend to take care of others first -- children, husbands, parents. That rings partially true for me, but the reality is self-care is tough for me because I tend to not think about it
My brain is wired for books and imagination and dreaming and scheming and goal-setting. I am wired for tackling tasks, for getting things done, no matter the cost. 

Self-care is difficult because it's often not even on my radar screen. 

That changes this year. If I ever hope to be a parent one day, I think I have to learn to take care of myself first, though I don't anticipate perfecting it before a little one comes along. I think I have to learn to say no so that I can ultimately say yes, a lesson years in the learning. I have to make time for Epsom salt baths and cleaning my house and buying fresh flowers and dressing up for date night. I have to remember to meal plan and take walks and clear my head. I have to read books not just because a customer asks me to, but because I want to. I have to write and watch Friends reruns and curl up on the couch on a rainy day. I have to make doctors' appointments and clean hair out of the tub and remember to do the laundry. I've got to do a better job at the "S tasks" in my life so my brain has space to focus on the "N tasks" I love. 

I've been choosing a word for the year since 2010, and every year, my word surprises me with its accuracy, with the ways in which my goals are kept and met throughout the year, according to my word.

Last year, I attempted to restore balance in my life after taking on ownership of the bookstore. I quickly learned striking a balance would mean growing comfortable in the seasons of the shop: a slow, quiet winter; a busy, growing spring; a hot, lengthy summer; and a hectic, harried fall. I had to relearn the seasons; I had to realize we couldn't vacation anytime between October and December, that rarely would I have a day off or a chance to breathe in that last quarter of the year. And while that's a tough truth to swallow, the moment I recognized it as truth was the moment I could move on and decide: We'd take vacations in the first half of the year. In January, when the store is achingly slow, I can rest. I can spend time at home without fear the store is going to fall apart or books are going to fall of the shelves.

It's a simple lesson, but, if we own the store for any lengthy period of time, it's an important one, and finding that balance last year is already helping me in 2015.

Already this year, I've taken the time to write my thoughts in this space, something I rarely made time for last year. I'm trying to establish a journaling habit every morning and evening, and today, I took down the Christmas tree and filled my house with cheerful accents to remind me of my upcoming birthday. Instead of spending my Monday checking emails and running errands and posting receipts, I cleaned my house. I watched Friends. I listened to a podcast. I sat on the couch.

These are, in their own way, miraculous things, and I will accept them for the joy that they are. This year, I will nurture my faith and my creativity and my community and my marriage, and will do so knowing I might make some missteps, but I'll learn some valuable truths about myself along the way. 

1 comment:

Sabrina said...

You will be so much better by the end of the year.Self-care is imperative for the "do it all" personality that we share. From college, I called it "me time". Much love and have a beautiful week!