Friday, August 25, 2017

The Art of Tending

I write because I like to write. Sometimes it’s because words need to surface, other times it just makes me happy putting thoughts down on paper. 

Me in my happy place
I am a “caretaker” of people and things. It seems like I am always tending something.  And I realized I needed tending to as well. After I had entered single-hood five years ago, it forced me to begin the journey of self-care. At first I wasn’t so great at it, but I started getting better at understanding  what was good for me.  I realized I hadn’t respected my body or soul and that I was always putting others first, and neglecting me.  Heck if I would have just listened to the airlines during their safety instructions and took that to heart when they say “put your air mask on first before you help others”…. I may have saved myself some time…. But I”ve always been a slow learner as well as a slow bloomer. Lol… oh well.   

I do love playing outside
Here is what I have learned.  I am an “outgoing introvert”.  I love being around people, doing things socially, and my love language is “act of service” but I relish my alone time. That is what recharges this girl’s batteries, quiet time.  And I have to balance it with my urge for helping others.  That is the tricky part.   And how I spend my moments in the recharge mode is dictated by the weather.  Time spent outdoors enjoying the beauty of the Palouse or puttering about indoors in the cozy confines of my farmhouse is pure bliss. I have finally felt that it was okay to give myself permission to not feel guilty when I just need my own space and set boundaries. You would think coming from a life where I spent a good part of it in the Ag industry, that it would dawn on me self-care is exactly like taking care of the crops.  In order to grow and prosper, you have to have the essential elements. I guess sometimes when you are down in the trenches that you forget to look up.   When I look at other amazing women that I know, I wonder if they have or had the same struggles that I did. Maybe it’s a conversation among us that I need to start.

This week I took care of my mom after her surgery. She says she is independent but I see her getting frail in body despite her strong spirit.  I wash her hair and she smiles.  She is recovering from a hand surgery and doesn’t like to admit she has to rely on help from family and has dubbed me “sergeant”.   I’m afraid that nickname may stick.

This weekend I’m taking care of the little grand-angels so their mommy  and daddy can get away for the week-end. Sometimes parents just need a break and I’m here to make sure it happens. So the little ladies and I will make up plans of what we want to do for two whole days.  It will be busy, messy, chaotic at times, but I’m looking forward to having the three grand-kids, plus their two dogs just for added chaos.

And since I’ve been able to take care of me, my internal happy season is in full bloom.  When I choose to help others, it is because I am willing to do it, not because I felt I had to do it.  My move to a new home in a new town has been just what I needed.  Life has a funny way to putting certain people in your life to help you learn as you go.  I am grateful and even thankful for the good and hard lessons that came about.  It got me here, a place where I need to be.  I took another chance on love and found a contentment that I haven’t ever felt before.  And I think certain, people, places, events had to take place to help me understand and appreciate what and who is in my life.  

This is the room where the "cozy thoughts and conversations" will happen

As I see the first of the leaves around my place start to turn yellow and red, I see the season of cozy warm sweater time starting. And that will most likely prompt more heart and soul kinds of conversations and thoughts.  I’d love to hear your thought too and you can always reach out and say hi at or leave a comment on the blog.

So ole “sergeant” is here to tell you, if you aren’t respecting your body and soul, please be gentle with yourself and start those steps, even if they are baby steps to be good to you. You deserve it, trust me on that one. 

As always, thank you for stopping by.  All my best, Gayle