Monday, January 14, 2013
On Keeping Humpty Dumpty on the Wall
A few weeks ago I had lunch with a new friend who asked, "In the midst of all these stressful, scary situations, what are you doing to take care of yourself?" I visibly flinched. I'm not a fan of the question. I've been in too many conversations where the phrase, "I need to take care of myself" was the preface to a detailed plan to flagrantly disregard the care of others. It's a pursuit that seems to steer all too easily into selfishness, and I sure don't need extra help getting there.
I admitted this this to my new friend, and she looked at me with the kind-but-baffled expression one might give a Martian. And as I tried to explain, I realized: I'm terrible at this sort of thing, but ignoring it hasn't made me any less selfish.
So yesterday, I went to the gym. It was neither impressive nor pathetic (have you ever noticed how your body can jump right back into certain workouts via memory? It only lasts for a day, but wow is it a fabulous way to convince yourself you haven't lost a bit of strength or endurance despite MONTHS of sloth!) Afterwards, I felt better. The tension in my legs, neck, back, shoulders and elbows (who knew we could hold tension in our elbows?) was reduced enough that I could walk without holding my neck funny in an effort to stand up straight.
I still don't like the phrase, "Taking care of yourself." But I can see the importance of doing certain things that keep my feet steady, my butt up off the ground, and my mind clear enough to navigate the oncoming traffic of life. I'm not sure what to call it (I'm scanning the Character Traits chart frantically, looking for one that fits) but I want more of it in my life. Who knows if perhaps keeping my Humpty Dumpty up on the wall will make me kinder and less selfish to all?
Dear Jesus, please help with that. Thanks. Amen.