When I hit a real rough patch, nothing says Taking Care like calling my VIGs--my Very Important Girlfriends. Even though inertia may be working against me. Even though the last thing I want to do is get dressed and leave the house. Even though I think I'd rather sink into my sorrow. If I pick up the phone and call on my VIGs, I can instantly create the most pleasant diversion.
Creating something to look forward to is the key. Last week during one of those really rough patches I sent some emails and made some calls in spite of a deep, dark funk. They all said to call if I needed them; and I needed them. Of course, because they're my darling VIGs, they all said yes. We had lunch. We went to the movies. In one instance a VIG and her baby even showed up on my doorstep! And let me just say that nothing takes away the blues like holding a baby.
I also tried a new Taking Care strategy last week--the art of distraction. Before the girlfriend dates were set, I noticed that crying more than a couple of times a day made me label the whole day as bad. What if I made a list of all the good things I do for myself every day? A Taking Care list. Even if the list had only one thing on it I figured I was ahead. Did you get out of bed? And eat breakfast? Write it down. Did you take your vitamins? Write that down too. Did you walk the dogs? You get the idea.
By the end of the week I had seven slips of paper that proved I could get through a moment... and then an hour... and even another day. I surprised myself by how many good things I could do for myself in a day. A distraction. Now all the days feel like good days with some crying thrown in. Maybe even a lot of crying. It doesn't matter now. Because I've shifted my focus towards Taking Care of me.