Friday, January 21, 2011

"Time For Ourselves" Plan - Part 2

Last week I got all excited about encouraging us to make time for ourselves. I bet you could tell that I've got a lot of passion for the subject of Choices. Why? Because when I finally got the concept, it was a major revelation. There are a lot of things that we do on an unconscious level for which we don't have a choice (breathing, for one; beating heart, for another) and many decisions we make on an instinctual level based on our experience, culture, education, upbringing, preferences, and code of honor or duty. We act without thinking, but we've made the decision to act without thinking. Now when I find myself saying, "I just can't do anything else!" or "Oh, I couldn't do that", I know that it's time to examine my motivation, my reasons for acting in a certain way. Then I can make a Choice, Consciously. I may still choose to act the same way, I may choose to continue to act without thinking becasue it makes the most sense. But I'm very aware of why. It's quite empowering.

Enough soap box.

I promised I would share what I chose for my time-for-me activity. Here it is...Contra Dancing!

Contra dancing is the dancing that you see in movies based on Jane Austin when everyone gushes about going to a ball or to the assembly. You see two parallel lines of dancers who move around the lines in patterns called "figures".

I was introduced to contra dancing years ago in Michigan and went to quite a few dances. When I moved to North Carolina, I found a group that sponsors the dancing, but let the idea fade into the background.

Contra dancing has everything that we talked about last week for the activity. The group holds a dance every week. I adore dancing and the moves are easy to pick up. I love music, and I don't need a partner. Contra dancing energizes me, lifts me up and is just challenging enough that I have to clear my mind of my worries and focus on the figures. And I get some exercise. Good all around.

I've made that first choice. Did you make yours? If you need another week to decide, take the time, and when you're ready...

We're on to Step 2 of the plan: Prepare for the activity.

This week, gather what you'll need for the activity. Do you need a space cleared for your activity? Do you need equipment or supplies? Do you need to gather information or read up on a skill? Do you need particular clothing? You may need to purchase something to be ready, but it may be that you don't need to purchase anything, because you already own what you need. If so, this week you want to gather it all together, brush it off, clean it, whatever helps you prepare for the activity.

For my activity, I have to make sure that I have proper shoes for a couple of hours of strenuous dancing, comfortable clothing, and directions to the dance. I'm thinking of asking some friends to join me, so I need to contact them. So I have a bit of prep to fit in this week.

You still don't need to think about finding the time. Think instead about getting prepared and about how much pleasure you'll get from your activity.

I'll let you know how I'm doing next week. Go out and prepare!

Blessings on your caregiving...and finding time for you.

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