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What have you done for YOU lately?

Hi all,

It’s rough out there – I know it.  We *all* know it.  Between the pandemic, civil unrest, economic instability – jeesh, I could go on.  But I won’t.

My question to you is (instead of the old saying ‘What have you done for me lately?’) is ‘What have you done for you lately?  Because let’s just take a moment to face this – few of us, if any, have full time care-givers who are catering to our every need.  Most of us have a LOT on our plates, and in addition to taking care of our families, our jobs, and our other responsibilities, there is nobody dedicated to ensuring that we are first and foremost taking care of ourselves!

I know you’ve heard this a thousand times, but here we go again.  “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else”… “Put your air mask on first and then help other passengers”  and so on.

Recently, I was feeling pretty ‘meh’.  In the grand scheme of things, I’m doing great.  I have a home, a job, toilet paper and hand sanitizer.  But there was nothing I was looking forward to.  (Remember how it felt to look forward to something???).  There was nothing  – outside of what we are all dealing with – that was *wrong*, but nothing felt very good either.

I decided to shake things up.  So for my birthday, I rented some goats.  Yes, goats.  Some of you who know me will not be surprised… AT ALL.  But I’ve always been an animal lover, and even though I do have a wonderful dog, I wanted something else.  I called a farm that actually does rent out goats (they are fantastic at eating poison ivy, for one thing).  They offered to set up a petting zoo with rabbits and chickens and a pig and a goat, and I just said “I’ll just take the goats please”.

The day of, this trailer showed up with 9 goats.  I was blown away!  I expected 4 or 5 goats.  They clattered into my backyard and set about the most important business, which was eating grass.  I introduced my dog to them – she was really excited at first!  The goats told her (gently) to back off.  After that, my dog was content to just walk around the backyard with them.

 

 

Anyway, I’d like to hear from all of you – how are you taking care of yourself?  Do you meditate?  Do Yoga?  Is a good morning run helpful, and if so, why?      Also – has anyone shown you an act of kindness that has brightened your day?

Bonus (fake) points if pictures are included!

PS: If you don’t feel like commenting, please do one nice thing for yourself.

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23 Comments
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  • I’ve been doing a bunch of crafting, including taking a class on weaving tapestry on little looms.

    This is the first tapestry I did for the class.

    Little%20Tapestry

    And this is a silk scarf from a kit that I bought several years ago.  The warp is black alternating with hand-dyed rainbow and the weft is black alternating with purple.  It’s on my 8-harness table loom (not tapestry :p ).

    Silk%20Scarf

    I’m also doing a lot of knitting.  Crafting like this has been my zen for years and having several projects going at the same time means I can take a break from one if I get bored with it and still have something else to work on.

    -Dell

    • Wow, Dell!  Those are beautiful!   Do you take commissions?

      It’s interesting how you called this your ‘zen’.  What is it about crafting that puts you in a positive frame of mind?

      Sue

      • It’s working with my hands while letting my mind free to process.  It can be very meditative – especially simple knitting, spinning yarn, or weaving after I have the pattern memorized.  I also tend to have something I’m working on while watching TV – that way I don’t snack so much!

        I’ve taken one or two commissions in the past, but weaving takes so long that it’s never possible to get paid for all of my time.  Also, I tend to be more focussed on making things that I’m interested in!

        -Dell

  • Sue – great picture!!

    I continue to walk everyday as much as I can.

    I am considering taking up another hobby (TBD) – maybe that will come with pictures.

    I crochet as well.

    Tammy

    • Great, Tammy!  I do enjoy walking the dog (although she thinks it’s too hot out some days, and I tend to agree).   And as you can see Dell Stinnett-Christy does some wonderful crafting and knitting.  Maybe you two should team up?

      Thanks,
      Sue

       

  • Thank you very much for your post Susan, it is great.

    Wow renting goats! I didn’t even know you could rent them, but reading your story I thought it was a great idea to mind your garden or your field.

     

    I have felt very identified with your post because I haven’t dedicated much to myself lately neither. It look like being at home is easier, but I find myself busier than ever and with two small kids and still self-isolating, every days is an unpredictable journey.

     

    I started doing yoga last week early in the morning, I thought going back to mind my body would be a great idea, but I actually had to give up on the fourth day. I realized that there is so much I can do in 24 hours and this is not the right time in my life. The little ones still demand a lot of attention and we don’t have any family support as we leave far away from our family.

     

    I hope in a few years the situation will change. So for now, I will take every day as is and will wait until vacation time to recover some this me-time with some books I have in my library.

     

    Marisa

    • Hi Marisa,

      You can also (in some locations) do Goat Yoga, which is indeed a *thing*. 

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvj6voiH5S0   LOL!!!

      But especially because you have little ones, and no family nearby, are you able to do ONE thing for yourself?  Or is your thing reading?  I recall when my boys were young – I would be desperate for them to fall asleep so that I could pick up a book and lose myself in some story.   Hopefully, you get some respite by reading.

      Take good care,

      Sue

       

  • I tried something called “Forest Bathing” which was just for me, partly because my kids are not into outdoorsy stuff these days, and secondly because I needed it. What is forest bathing?! It’s a bit of a cross between a forest hike (without a destination) and forest exploration. Somewhere within the experience is an element of finding peace through meditation and connection with the forest. This post explains Forest Bathing well if you want to learn more about it.

    I was exactly in that area of British Columbia on my own so it was a great opportunity to do something for myself. Here’s a short video I made of the week alone.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with goats! 🙂 Not surprised about goats…but goat-rentals – that’s an amazing service to offer! 😀

    • Wow, Jason.  I knew you had spent some time alone lately, but I guess I didn’t know it was ‘Forest Bathing’.  It sounds absolutely wonderful!

      I particularly like this description… ‘This experience is much slower,” she says. “The guide will really slow down the participants and get them to interact with the forest with all their senses.’

      Although renting goats is a different type of experience from Forest Bathing, I think they could both accomplish something similar – in that time that the little cloven-hoofed critters were frolicking around my yard, I was very *present*.  I was observing them, listening to them, touching, and yes, smelling them.  It took me out of the here-and-now.

       

  • I loved this post Sue and especially your picture with the goats! I would have never imagined you can rent goats but love that you took the time to find out and give yourself an amazing experience even (especially) during a pandemic.

    I completely resonate with the tough place of not being able to ‘look forward’. So I’ve been trying to give myself mini ones each day. A good book, something to watch, a favorite food, time with a friend etc. And lots of long walks.

    Sending a big virtual hug.

    • Hi Gali!
      I’m glad you’ve found ways to give yourself something to look forward to – even mini ones!  I do find that anticipating a good book is nice, as is Family Game night.  I make it a point to talk to at least one friend or family member each night – whereas *before* I would just shudder at the thought of a phone call in the evening!

      I am sending virtual hugs back to you and yours.

      And I look forward to seeing you sometime in the future, just as Sunny is looking forward to more water in her dish 😉

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  • I absolutely LOVE the goat picture and the idea of renting goats. I am not so into pets in general but this is so cute and such a great idea. My neighbor recently rent chicken and she had fresh eggs for that period of time every morning 😉 This was also absolutely new for me that this is possible.

    What did I do for me lately? I have to say I am regularly taking care of myself. Because I am convinced that this is the key for a happy life. I do meditation every morning, I do my sports 2-4 days the week, I read (in my 2 weeks vacation I read 3 books), I’ll try to spend time with myself, alone. I’ll try to create “islands of regeneration”: last week e.g. my children were at my grandparents house the whole week and my husband crossed the alps with his Mountain-bike at the same time. And I was all alone at home. Although I worked it was like vacation, being on my own, not to “manage” a family and just do want I want to do (or to eat 😉 ).

    I highly recommend that everyone takes time on his own and although it’s difficult with two small children around Marisa Sepulveda , you should try anything. It gives you back the energy, which you can then spent on the quality time with your family.

    • Oh my, I love the idea of ‘Islands of regeneration’!    I definitely can understand how you felt like you were on vacation when you were by yourself at home.  I think I need to reframe being at home mentally.  I had been thinking ‘I’m stuck at home’ but lately I’ve been telling myself ‘I’m so lucky to be able to stay at home’.  Even though there are definitely times when I don’t believe it.

       

       

  • Hi Susan,

    What brilliant idea renting goats! 🙂 I did not know it is possible.

    I recently painted to make my wall less empty (and also because I am not willing to hang those IKEA posters on my wall).

    I also added a new piece recently to my Haida Carving family (the bottom right one)

     

    Cheers,
    Ervin

  • Hi Erwin,

    Did you actually make the painting of the boat??? OMG!

    I absolutely love the Haida carvings.  So you have fulfilled my wish for ‘something to look forward to’ because later on, I can go learn about Haida carvings.

    Thank you for sharing!

    PS: I also painted a wall, but I used off-white and a  paint roller, so it’s far less interesting than yours.

     

    • Hey Susan,

      Yes, I love creative work.

      Lol, the paint roller! That is art too. Abstract art… a very abstract one, but still art.

      Cheers,
      Ervin

  • I’ve never really been into doing something for me specifically as I never really felt the need to so and this hasn’t changed because of the pandemic. The only thing my husband and I have started to do are semi-regular strolls across the fields in our neighborhood in southern Germany. So, over the last couple of months, we’ve been walking more kilometers there than in all of the 30+ years we’ve been living here!

    In order to not miss an opportunity whenever it presents itself, we usually take our cameras with us and I therefore now have a collection of several hundred of pictures snapped while out and about. It makes for a rather colorful compilation as different flowers and plants come and go from season to season. Here is a small selection to add a little bit of color to this thread:

    MeadowFlowers

    MeadowFlowers and other plants

    Cheers

    Bärbel

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    MeadowFlowers
  • Sue,

    The goat rental sounds like quite a fun experience!

    During this time, but also before, the 15 minutes I spend every day tending to my flock of chickens is something I look forward to. It’s interesting to see which color eggs we got today, or who comes running first when I hand out some treats.

    That and watching the progress of the vegetable garden and the fruit trees. I look forward to picking yummy pluots and strawberries, as well as lemon cucumbers and squash, and thinking about what I will cook with them, or whether I might eat them right off the tree/vine. It definitely helps restore my sanity on a daily basis.

    • Hi Audrey,

      Yes, I do look forward to seeing your chicken updates.  I am not that skilled to be able to grow actual veggies and fruits, but I do get to check out my flowers more than I used to.  The downside to *that* is that it usually means I find weeds.

      I’m very happy that you’re able to find something to look forward to!

      Sue