Author Topic: ‘Me day’ with “Blandings”  (Read 169 times)

Offline Marianna

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You remember how Seth would encourage Jane and Rob (and us) to go away for a few days, do no work there, come back refreshed and proceed.

I am talking of almost the same thing. I do not even know who is most plagued by its absence of it – corporate workers or creatives working from home. From my experience – all of them.
How long ago have you made for yourself a ‘me day’ (not for your birthday)? Move appointments, calls, work – to other days. Just for a single day. Just one. You are not in Emergency Services (most of us – are not). If you were to go to a hospital for a day, you would find time.

The world has not been placed on your shoulders. You placed it there. By keeping the cell on all the time (‘If someone needs me’) and being there for friends and family – all the time. Not trusting them to handle it on their own. For a day. (‘They’ll mess up, ruin, break, etc’).

Just one day. Let everyone know. ‘Tomorrow I am unavailable. The day after – be my guest!’

Why do you think I am writing all this? On a high horse? Smarter than everyone?
No, I am just like the others. But Seth and similar books do their ‘swan making’ work on me. And looking at my Mother (always cooking under the motto ‘let’s cook today, we won’t have to tomorrow’ – and tomorrow is the same story.), I finally asked her and myself: Why? If everyday is like this – are we freeing the last day of life?

Telling this to my Mum is no use, but I finally heard it myself. And though not a corporate worker anymore, but a creative who takes care of all things ‘household’, I find myself without ‘me days’.

Yes, I have been planning to introduce them for years. Once a fortnight? Once a month?
Finally I see the use of fever and splitting headache the other day. To get it through my head: it is time for an overdue ‘me day’.
Now that I can read and enjoy a comedy show, the cell is put on ‘silent’, an appointment is moved to tomorrow, and calls – to Friday.

Do not underestimate the power of an illness. It is always helpful in some way. Balancing and cleaning your body (and mind), signaling you of unhelpful beliefs, or making you pause and reflect. If you never had a habit of pressing the ‘pause’ button yourself.
I am sure you are anxious to know – which show? A British one. Blandings. It’s available on Amazon with Prime video.

Marianna


Online jbseth

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Hi Marianna,

A long time ago, I had a coworker who referred to "Me day's" as "Mental Health Days".  :)

I find that these are very important as you say.



I've found that sometimes when I'm overly stressed, I sometimes develop a cold.  Mostly, I believe that these occur because I need to take a break. When I don't do this, then one me, my inner self, works up a nice little physiological situation to get the attention of my other me, my ego self.

jbseth   

Offline Deb

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Yep, Marianna, you're so right. "Me days" or "mental health days" are definitely important for most of us and not enough people realize or do that. I've found that just taking one day off from being myself totally recharges me and changes my attitude, the way I see things. But I too rarely do that, and I normally have to get away from my home in order to step outside my routine little self.

I've been really sick for the last 3 days, sick enough to make me feel miserable from head to toe, but not too sick to take care of some stubborn technical issues that cropped up unexpectedly the past 2 days. Things that needed to be fixed right away and with no one else who could do it. This morning I finally decided to see the doctor to make sure I don't have strep (I don't), and was wondering, "why did I do this to myself?" The answer in my head was I needed a "valid" excuse to spend a few days unplugged and curled up with a book or two. So apparently on some level even sickness isn't enough of a rationalization for me to allow myself to unplug.

Quote from: Marianna
And though not a corporate worker anymore, but a creative who takes care of all things ‘household’, I find myself without ‘me days’.

I think part of the mindset comes from upbringing, our being taught to be responsible adults. You were maybe raised right at the edge of this line of thinking: Only woman are the caregivers, responsible for taking care of others, pleasing others… it's our place in life (I've seen change in this attitude over my lifetime, I know a few "Mr. Moms"). "Unsalaried workers" operate under different expectations by society. What women do for the home and family is as valuable as whoever is bringing home the bacon and we need to realize we deserve to treat ourselves well. I was raised with "men can work from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done" drilled into my head. I grew up in the Betty Crocker/Father Knows Best/Easy Bake Oven/Barbie generation. While I do enjoy cooking and being useful to others, I have been also growing into the idea over the past couple of decades that there's more to me than that. And you're also so right that the world won't fall apart if we disconnect for a few hours, a day, or a couple of weeks. Or longer. If people would just stop and think about that, it would make so much sense that it could give them the freedom to unplug now and then. The hospital comment was perfect: something like such an unexpected situation teaches us that the world will not fall apart if we need to be absent for a while. Yet it shouldn't take an emergency to give ourselves permission to take care of ourselves.

In the past couple of years I've taken off for Europe for a couple of weeks to travel alone, against everyone else's better judgment, and it opened up a whole new world to me. And I've learned some things I never knew about myself. I feel so alive when I'm traveling, so in the moment. Because I have to be — trying to find how to get to places, reading maps, figuring out how mass transportation works (something fairly new for me), standing up for myself, being very aware of my surroundings, dealing with airline problems. That all causes a super heightened state of awareness of the present. I don't think other people in our lives always appreciate this self-care and personal growth, I think they fear we will we step out of our roles and upset the apple cart. But I've found the biggest protesters eventually calm down and then think, "Actually, I wish I could do stuff like that. Well if she can do it, why can't I?" So I end up going from being some daring and irresponsible person to an inspiration.

Thanks for the tip on the new show, it's definitely something I will check it out tonight.

One of the movies that most changed my way of looking at life as a woman and "me" time was Shirley Valentine. Also a British comedy, it's unique and full of the issue of honoring our own needs as much as we do others. Shirley got an unexpected chance for "me" time in Greece with a friend who won a trip, and then she decided to stay. It has a very nice ending too with a promise of compromise and changes and maybe a deeper connection in her relationship with her husband. That probably would not have happened if she didn't honor and trust her impulses.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 10:34:57 PM by Deb »

Offline Deb

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Marianna, I'm not sure if you still get Notes from the Universe, but today's fit nicely here!

Every so often, Deb, I like to take time off. You know, go to theme parks, ride roller coasters, and people watch. Sit on the beach, walk through the forest, and listen to music.

Just kick back, relax, and let everything run on autopilot... considering, it already does.

Haven't you noticed?

You're in good hands,
   The Universe

Deb, you deserve some "automatic pilot time." The stage is beautifully set and I'm holding you with such care one might think you were a China Doll.

Offline Marianna

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Deb, but you do take vacations alone - nearly every year. And some of us are still working on it :)

I just noticed from my reaction to calls the day before (I really wanted to break a few dishes - and I was mostly angry with myself for helping out again) that it was time for a 'me day'. Besides, I am recovering from a flu - I have a great pretext.


Otherwise there'll be serious health and phycological consequences :) 


So, you got sick when your Konmari cleaning was well underway? Have you come across her mentioning that after the tidying process a lot of clients get diarrhea or similar 'cleaning' symptoms? Now I think that my congested symptoms were connected with cleaning (among other things).


The things you describe when you travel are fascinating! I love this state of 'heightened awareness'. I have this in a 'compact' form here in New York. This is so much a tourist city - and I pretend to be one of them. Sometimes I buy myself tickets for lunchtime movies or concerts or just roam along the streets or go to a park (the latter - mostly in warm weather).


But I still do look forward to trips alone. Even short ones.


Maybe you could somehow start with 'me days' after the cleaning? Since you understand their importance? And can't the days of physical unpleasantness and suffering be helpful here? Being a warning and a reminder to you "Deb, if you don't figure out something with 'me days' you are looking at more of this 'fun' in the future?"

Or whatever idea you want to use to help yourself with this step.

Yes, certainly upbringing matters. And you start your adult life doing pretty much what you Mother does. But I am also looking at the picture from outside, so to say. I can see that my Mum's and Granny's approaches were not the best ones. They didn't get the best results.

So it was a clue for me to find better ways - in all respects. This is what I am doing.

You are right, Deb - trusting your impulses will pay off. And there IS more to it than housework and routine stuff.

Your example is definitely an inspiration. I will keep it in mind together with all Mike Dooley's helpful suggestions. 

Thanks a lot!

Marianna

Offline Marianna

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Quote from: jbseth

I've found that sometimes when I'm overly stressed, I sometimes develop a cold.  Mostly, I believe that these occur because I need to take a break. When I don't do this, then one me, my inner self, works up a nice little physiological situation to get the attention of my other me, my ego self.

jbseth   
Hi jbseth,
 Nice meeting you,
Cold seems to be a very 'handy' instrument for us - students. :) But you say that you have a 'spare strategy' to get ego's attention? Well, whatever works to help us understand. :)

Offline Marianna

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Deb, we again write at the same time! :) Surely I am getting Mike's notes. His is one of very few newsletters I have.

Yes, it's a great one. I'll take it into my collection (I have a dozen or so of his notes handwritten on index cards) - to look at in the morning ;)

Offline Deb

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Quote from: Marianna
Deb, but you do take vacations alone - nearly every year.

I just started doing that for the past 3 years years of my life and plan to continue. But I spend most of the time at my destinations with "new friends" (such as the riding trips) and even then it takes some effort to get some time to myself. People don't understand the pleasure of solitude and even take offense to it, feeling rejected. And I've made quite a few friends completely due to my trips! To travel completely alone such as in Alone Time is a goal and would be a totally new experience. I wonder how I'd feel after even a few days completely on my own, let alone a whole week, in a foreign setting. Would I still enjoy it? Or is one day enough? I've love to find out.

Quote from: Marianna
So, you got sick when your Konmari cleaning was well underway?

Yes, I got sick right before I finished cleaning. I haven't completely finished the book, or the cleaning, but I think I heard her say that.  Like you, it's an upper respiratory/flu thing and I'm still dealing with it. It's been a doozy, and I've had the thought that my body is trying to break itself down just to rebuild in a hurry, faster than the way that normally works, to keep up with my cleaning out the house. I also have laryngitis that began Monday morning, which has been interesting because it got me out of a couple of phone calls that I didn't want to deal with.  :)

Quote from: Marianna
Maybe you could somehow start with 'me days' after the cleaning?

Yes, I'm definitely gong to make the effort on a regular basis! I do go out to lunch with friends, will run errands etc. but to actually take a day off and just do something that I enjoy, by myself, would be very energizing. It seems like something always comes up and I have this misguided belief that I will do the fun stuff once I get the work done. And the work never seems to get done -- there is no done, it's up to me.   ;)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 06:58:21 AM by Deb »

Offline Marianna

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Quote from: Deb
To travel completely alone such as in Alone Time is a goal and would be a totally new experience. I wonder how I'd feel after even a few days completely on my own, let alone a whole week, in a foreign setting. Would I still enjoy it? Or is one day enough? I've love to find out.
Yes, it is definitely worth trying. I am sure you'll love it. In Piter you were close to this, were you not? Or probably you still spent too much time with your Russian friends to experience what you want to experience.
I visited my grand-aunt in Canada when I was 18, and my favorite time was - walks to the supermarket or around the town alone. Yes, I did get lost once, so what? There were people around to help :)

Oh, sore throat is always there for us when we want to get out of a conversation :)


Offline Marianna

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Quote from: Deb
I do go out to lunch with friends, will run errands etc. but to actually take a day off and just do something that I enjoy, by myself, would be very energizing. It seems like something always comes up and I have this misguided belief that I will do the fun stuff once I get the work done. And the work never seems to get done -- there is no done, it's up to me.   
Yes, Deb, you are absolutely right - the belief IS misguided. 'first work - fun staff later'. I have the same habit. And just like developing any new one and getting rid of a bad old one - it requires some discipline. I am sure you'll be able to do it - knowing it's for your sake. And for others - as inspiration.

Watching yourself and catching yourself 'by the hand' helps. (When you notice yourself thinking 'I'll just do this little thing').

Also - planning 'me day' for a particular day of the week (not necessarily Friday always). Then you'll know not to pile 'stuff' in the calendar for this day.


Well, this is advice I am going to follow myself.

Offline Marianna

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Deb, I don't remember
Quote from: Deb
One of the movies that most changed my way of looking at life as a woman and "me" time was Shirley Valentine.
Thanks a lot for this! I watched it yesterday with great pleasure.

Offline Marianna

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Quote from: Deb
People don't understand the pleasure of solitude and even take offense to it, feeling rejected.
Deb, do you think they react this way because you expect them to (you know, when life unfolds according to your expectations)?


Offline Deb

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Quote from: Marianna
Quote from: Deb
People don't understand the pleasure of solitude and even take offense to it, feeling rejected.
Deb, do you think they react this way because you expect them to (you know, when life unfolds according to your expectations)?

I don't know, I suppose being a Seth reader there's always that question. But I also have to consider that everyone is different and has their own ideas, likes and dislikes. I know some people who can't stand to be alone. They are usually the ones who don't understand the pleasure I get from spending some time alone. Maybe they can only see things from their own perspective or associated being "alone" with "lonely." 

Offline Marianna

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Yes, Deb, I understand perfectly. I think my husband is a lot like this. "Alone = lonely". Either because he lived alone for a long time, or because of some other reasons as well.

Imagine me - having such a partner :) But I am patient. And keep trying and trying schemes that will work. Like walking early - before he gets up and sitting up with my books and writing after he's gone to bed.

And this is already progress! From his 'ideal' of me being always somewhere close.
But. I am very fortunate in having created the situation - when friends and family do not pester and bother me often :). There is always understanding and setting up meetings - when it is convenient for all involved.

Though - I must confess, in some situations I took the cowardly route. To avoid saying 'no' and disappointing others - some of my close friends live in distant cities and countries. And the only friend I have in NYC - the one who pairs with me for drawing classes - is very understanding and has the same preferences :)

 

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