Intentional Self Care


Disclosure: I am a #TalkEarly ambassador. All thoughts, opinions are my own. I write this sitting comfortably in my bed, ticking down the clock til I have to get in the car and head to the hospital.

Yes, you read that right. If you are reading this on pub day, I'm probably being sliced and diced by a big ol' robot as we speak!

I have endometriosis. This will be the 2nd surgery in 7 months. This one will be thee biggest one to date (my 4th overall). Some of the symptoms for endo include (but are not limited to) pain (some days lots of it), fatigue, brain fog and more. The pain will get you right quick and in a hurry. The rest build up.

As someone who is used to being on the go, you can imagine having this illness has been an eye opening experience. But...EVEN THEN! I have refused to stop. Like, do I want a cookie for that shit? No. I just go go go because I don't know how to sit and do nothing.

Except that in the last year, I've had no choice. And along with giving myself grace (which dammit! I have to work on daily), I've learned that taking care of myself is the best thing I can do for myself and those around me. It is the first and best way for me to show my family that I love them because it means that I am always running on a full tank.

It hasn't always been like this but this is how it has to be. Self care is something we hear and might think it's a trend. Maybe the women before us didn't have that word but that ritual was always necessary. A little time for yourself. To reconnect with you. It reminds of Vivi in The Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood and how she quite literally had a whole ass breakdown before people realized that she was overwhelmed and doing too much. I don't want to be Vivi.

The first step is recognizing it, right? My word for the year is intentional. The thing with picking a word is that when you select a word, be prepared for the universe to put before you opportunity after opportunity for you to live that bad boy out. And here I am.

Surgery will be about 3 hours. Recovery, as of right now is set for 3 weeks (though it depends on the long list of possibles that will be decided on during surgery). I plan on, as my friends say, sitting my ass down. I'm ready with books, plans for who is picking up what, when and where, comfortable spaces (helloooo, new recliners), planners, journals and a deep determination that this is the year that I put myself first.

This year I am, once again, a Talk Early ambassador. This program teaches me something each and every time I sit to interact and write for them. I'm grateful that because I now realize how easy it can be to turn that "stressful" day into a binge drinking day (hi, dad!), and how with other systems in place, we can lead a better, healthier life.

For those that don't know, Talk Early focuses on empowering parents to be confident about their own decisions regarding alcohol, model healthy, balanced behaviors, and create a foundation for starting conversations with their kids from an early age. It's interesting because, in my quest to educate myself so that I could better educate the Frog Princess, I'm being schooled along the way. And for that, I am grateful.

Self care will look like me sitting down and resting. Healing. Afterward, it will look like taking time for myself, prioritizing exercising and eating healthy, spending time with loved ones, spending time alone, reading. Speaking of reading: ya'll! I've finished 7 books so far this month. I've forgotten how great reading is for my mental health.

Self care will mean living my life with intention. Past this year and on to all the others that will follow.

What do you do for self care?