Day 176 - Cookies & Milk
Uncertainty seems like a topic that we are all struggling with these days. Our collective worlds have just been up ended and no one really knows what is going on. No one. The leaders don’t know. The doctors don’t know. All of us are in the same boat - the “I don’t know what the fuck is going on” boat.
Yet we all plod along. Coping as best we can. All taking our respective turns being scared and worried, hopeful and relatively sane. We all are doing the best we can in these uncertain times.
What is currently helping me most is walnut chocolate chip cookies with milk (almond) every afternoon at about 3 pm. I just stop what I am doing and take a cookie break. It kind of reminds me of kindergarten. Remember back then? When you had a nice woman who would give you a cookie and some milk (we were still served actual milk back then), read you a story and then you got to lay down and take a nap...
I am not doing the nap or story which would be way better for my waistline but I am doing the cookie and milk thing. I have long said that the world would be a better place if every afternoon we all pretended we were back in kindergarten and had a cookie, story and nap. That we might all get along better if we had a loving, mother-teacher person patting our heads as we all just took a break.
I think what I am really getting in touch with is my need to be cared for. Living alone and now living in isolation, my solitude is kind of glaring these days. I have my daughter here and pets so I am not alone, alone. I think of all my friends that are out there really alone. I am trying to make sure that I reach out to them and check on them. It is hard taking care of yourself all the time. Hard to be solely responsible for your own emotional, physical and psychological health. No one there to tell you to come sit down, take a break, tell you you look pretty, hold your hand, hug you.
Self reliance is a good thing but I think that I have almost weaponized it. I do it all, every day, and have for years. I take care of me and a whole variety of other beings. That is not to say that I don’t have help, I do, but for the most part it all rides on me and I have always liked it that way.
This whole ordeal has gotten me in touch with this other part of me that I have had a hard time allowing expression in my life. That I, like everyone else on the planet, need to be cared for. Just writing that was hard. Contrary to my nature. I always want to “have it under control” but I am learning, in real time, that having it under control and living are not the same thing...
Self care can look like a lot of things depending on the circumstances. Depending on the day. But right now for me, I am getting in touch with how much I really do want and need other care. As usual, I seem to only learn these things in their absence. My dad brought me dinner last night from a restaurant, and I almost started crying as he got in his car to return home. It was so nice to be cared for. To have someone go out of their way to do something for me. It felt really good...right up until I realized that I didn’t know when that might happen again.
Self care is one thing. Vital. Important. A skill for sure. But I am getting in touch with how much I need and want other care in my life. Someone to be looking after my needs, my wishes and desires. The stark absence of that right now, while painful, is also a good time for me to recognize the growth. I do not want to spend the rest of my life self caring, I want to be brave enough to be vulnerable enough, to allow another person to care for me. Something that does not come easily to me.
So for now, I am having cookies and milk every afternoon and pretending that some loving, grandmotherly person is telling me to take a break and slow down and just enjoy the snack. I sit outside and dunk the cookies in the milk, look around at my life, and the world that surrounds it. I try to revel in the simple pleasure of it all. Sometimes, life is made complete with a break and snack. Sometimes that is enough to give me a larger perspective about myself.
There is no one currently banging down my door to take on the role of other care so I am not going to get that need met right now. But that is ok, for now I can be happy that I have identified that I have it. That I want to be cared for and perhaps, one day, when it is time I can allow it.
Sometimes growth comes in waves, in bursts and sometimes it comes in the form of cookies and milk. I kinda love that about my life.