Capacity is something that I often think about when I think about what I call the human robot disorder where our self worth is tied up with productivity. That we are only valued as a person based on what we do or provide, rather than who we are or our very being. All life is valuable. I myself am guilty too of believing that I could have done more. That there is always more to do and that I’m never really fulfiling my potential or getting the most out of life. It’s difficult for many of us not to fall in this trap or constantly be living in the future, hoping that one day we might get it all done. That the to-do list will be void or even the list of things we are trying to achieve will actually stop.
In the last few months, I’ve initiated what I have called Self-Care Sundays, where I literally prioritise personal care. I mean the real nuts and bots here. Cutting my toenails, washing my hair, exfoliating, the washing, getting ready for the week. Strangely even though it wasn’t called Self-Care Sundays I grew up in a family where Sundays were home days. Where we put on Sunday afternoon television and my mother used to spend the afternoon ironing for the whole family (remember those days). Ironing has never been part of my Self-Care routine I’m an iron on kind of girl, only making the exception for big days out. Before the implimentation of a Sunday dedicated to me, everything was on an adhoc basis. Everything got done when it got done or more importantly when I noticed it needed doing. Much of the necessities were never really a slog, more like an inconvenience, that got in the way of a larger kind of life.
As I have gradually implemented this Sunday routine it’s becoming clearer to me how important making space for yourself can be. Prioritising the simple things and making them happen can bring the greatest sense of peace to your life. I know it’s the simple things right? It may sound crazy that I’m putting this here, as it boils down to basic common sense. Then on the other hand for me, it’s becoming more and more of a life saver, and here is why. I’m always pushing. Whether it’s to be a better friend, partner or professional. I wouldn’t say I’m a people pleaser but I’m always willing to go that extra mile to help someone out or more importantly cram more in. The challenge is that up until now I haven’t fully taken on board the extent of that. That it isn’t so much about extracting my significance from other people. It’s more that I have underestimated the contributions of having small things in place in my own life contribute to my sense of peace and well being. That actually the small things are incredibly important in order to have the greatest amount of capacity. So the things that I’m often sacrificing for personal gains are actually the things I should always be investing in for myself.
Even this weekend I was acting in service of myself in order to finish a project that I wanted and needed to get done. It meant taking a drive on Sunday and then spending some time connecting with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. I was very pleased to have got something finally finished and to connect with a friend after several months. I got home and collapsed into bed, after all, I was a reflective person and a lot had happened in both our lives and I then needed time to process and integrate. The washing was done (I didn’t put it away). The living room was a looking like a bomb from my creative project the weekend before that still hadn’t settled and it only now this morning I was wondering what happened? Capacity happened. That when we really start putting ourselves at the centre of our lives we begin to see how important a deep commitment to self-care is in order to have full capacity. That it really is about compartmentalising life to make sure that you actually have your own back. So you are never the one paying the price even if it is with regards to pushing yourself further. Now it gets even better, each week I’m looking forward to that Sunday feeling.