Hello Peaks & Harbours readers! Go gently on this first-time bloggess (bloggeuse? bloggetrix?). A few months ago, Kyla wrote about our book club, and I want to carry on with the conversation about #selfcare but maybe extend it to just mean #care.
We began our book club because the five of us realized that though we all lived in the same city, we barely saw each other. Career building, little kids, traffic, the usual. Life was too busy and we were tired of not hanging out. So book club, once a month, it was. And it’s been wonderful.
I joke that I am the nana of our group – I am totally uncool. I know zero about new music. The last time I was on the cutting edge of a scene was grunge. I say this not to be self-deprecating, because frankly, what is the point of having exceedingly cool and chic friends if they can’t tell you who all the cool bands and designers are, saving you hundreds of hours scrolling the internet, but to set the scene for a realization I’ve had as of late.
This luddite, nana book-club-lover, has become utterly dependent on chat technology. At first I was feeling guilty about it, about how much time I was ‘wasting’ chatting on whatsapp with our book club group chat. And then I realized I wasn’t wasting time at all.
Like everyone, I’m busy. I refuse to buy into this “who is busier” rhetoric. We are all busy with things that we prioritize and with things over which we have no control. One thing that is true in my life right now is that my partner is working an absolute ton, which means that most of the time that I’m not at work, I’m at home with my kiddo and my dog. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my kid, but adult company is different than learning about the various tools you can use to build up parts of armour in minecraft (Can someone please explain the appeal of minecraft to me? Please?!).
One thing I can do from home is chat with my friends. Not nearly as good as hanging out in real life, but if the alternative is only seeing each other once a month, I’ll take it every day of the week.
This got me thinking about self-care, and care, and what that means in our crazy world right now. I won’t get all the way onto my soapbox, but there is something that really rankles me about the whole notion of self-care these days, and I think it’s because I just really want someone to take care of me sometimes, rather than taking care of myself, and I sometimes really like taking care of other people. What if rather than self-care, we just talked about care, and what it looks like. For me, right now, this is what it looks like: a group of friends trying our best to figure shit out, and taking care of ourselves by taking care of each other, and one way we do that is through a daily whatsapp chat. Not always perfect but definitely mitigates the oft-found loneliness of big-city life.
So here is my call to arms for you, not for a revolution (though smashing the patriarchy is an ongoing activity…), but to feel less guilty about whatever it is you do that ‘wastes’ time, if it’s watching British police procedurals on Netflix, chatting online with friends, effing around on the internet reading advice columns and doing buzzfeed quizzes, window shopping online, but particularly if your time-waster is maintaining your community in some way, shape or form. Cause you know what my nana did? In her small town, she hung out with her ladies when all their kids were at school and their husbands were at work getting up to all sorts of good for their community, but also all sorts of mischief. So if being a nana these days means I go to bed before 10, and I’m not the friend who goes out dancing on a Monday night (sorry ladies, that looked totally rad!); but, means that I am unapologetic about making sure I have a community to take care of and who takes care of me, I’m all for it.
Bring on the cardigan and slippers.