Wait, Self Care Isn't Selfish?

Believe it or not, self care doesn't come naturally to some people.

Self care is NOT second nature to me. I constantly have to force myself to do it, not because I don't care, but it's just....not there. Like math skills and a cognitive map - I am just simply deficient in that area.

Some is nature, some is nurture.

My mom was not into appearances or pampering yourself. She had the unfortunate belief that women should NOT be too involved in their appearance or self care, because doing so was selfish  and something to be condemned. For her, "taking care of herself" meant she cared about her how her hair looked. She worshiped the sun and prided herself on how dark her tan could get. She spent hours upon hours sitting in a stretched out lawn chair on our deck, reading a Danielle Steele and sipping on Dr. Pepper, or else just napping if us three kids were otherwise occupied. (Nintendo: probably the world's best babysitter.) The few things she insisted on were:
- Diet Dr. Pepper. Each week it was included in the groceries and it was hers and only hers.
Oil of Olay (before it was changed to just Olay and the bottles still looked like this:

image source

That was pretty much it. Focusing on your own comfort, joy, beauty, happiness - all these things were for women who were: vain, stuck up, and selfish. 
When I started using my babysitting money to buy make up and face wash (instead of the bar of soap from the shower) my mom would roll her eyes and make a snippy comment. 
(Obviously, as an adult, I am aware that she had serious issues. As a kid & teen, I didn't really know or understand.) 



Well, take this for example: when I read Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster and she discusses that in junior high she began blow drying and ironing her hair every morning before school - I was stunned. Literally stunned. I actually had to stop and absorb this. I checked other sources - meaning I Googled shit - and found out that it's actually quite common for girls to do this. I mean, I know it is now, but we kind of live in different times. Even my old Seventeen magazines from back in the day didn't include ironing your hair as part of the AM routine. 
My morning routine had been: climb out of bed, put on clean clothes, eat a bowl of cereal, brush teeth, and be at the bus stop by 6:37 for pick-up and nap on the bus until we reached the school at 7:50, first bell at 8:05. (Yeah, growing up in the country kinda sucked in some ways.) 

I honestly had no idea that girls could . . .get ready. I knew girls who wore make-up to school. (Also, when my mom saw these girls she would comment on how vapid and self-righteous they were.) It just kind of didn't occur to me how the make up was getting on their faces.

The first time I saw this image (which was sometime in the past couple years)
source

I was blown away. I had multiple sessions with my therapist about it. About self care, and about my mom and her influence on my idea of self care.

So I grew up believing that taking care of yourself - emotionally and physically - was inherently egotistical. (Serious issues, I'm telling you.)

Eventually I did take care of myself more. I had been shaving my legs since I was 11, but I began begging my dad to buy me Gillette Satin Care Gel instead of just using soap. I always washed my hair, but I started insisting on Pantene moisturizing conditioner. I bought a bottle of Biore when it was first released. I started spending hours a day riding my bike around the yard and dirt roads around my house - not for exercise, but for "me" time, to be in my head, or to get out of my head - to be away from everyone and just let my thoughts run free and to daydream. (Of course I didn't know the term "me time" back when I was 13, but that's what it was.) 
My mom made snide remarks when I gave myself a special foot bath and painted my toes. She was epically pissed when I spent babysitting money on Caress body wash because I didn't want to continue using the Dial bar. In her eyes, I was becoming narcissistic and vain.
Did I think I was so special I needed special soap and a special thing to apply said soap with? (This was when Caress was first released, also kicking off the idea of the body pouf, and you got a free peach-colored pouf in select packages of Caress Body Wash.) What made me think my legs needed gel to shave with when she had no problem using a soapy lather? 

I struggled with the kind of guilt only a mother can induce, I often pretended not to care. I pretended to agree with my mother's assessment of other women being too "into themselves" when a family friend would leave her son with a babysitter and go to a movie with her girlfriends. (Kids should always come first, was her thinking. Going to a movie, spending money on the ticket, the popcorn, maybe getting appetizers someplace after - and dear God, not to mention the effort put into doing their hair and choosing lipstick - yeah. I actually thought that all sounded like super fun stuff I wanted to do - but just nodded when my mom talked about how very selfish and immature these women were.) 

I spent a great deal of my life struggling to DO self care, fighting against the guilt I felt about being a bad person for wanting it. When I was in my early twenties, I kind of came out of it as I realized serious issues but by then my need to NOT focus on taking care of myself was indoctrinated. It was a battle in my brain, to say the least, and doing something like calling in sick to work because I was overwhelmed emotionally and needed a day to just spend with the cat - wracked me with so much guilt and self loathing it almost wasn't worth it.

And finally, in my thirties, I started weekly therapy on a long term basis. I saw the cat meme above. I started to learn that it's actually ok - and even necessary - to take care of myself - both physically and emotionally. It literally was not until I started working where I'm at now that I was able to actually stand up for myself and say "I am not going to do X for these reasons." 

I now know, logically, that self care is not selfish. I know it is vital to maintaining health and sanity. I just have to remind myself to do it sometimes. I have to remind myself that I'm allowed to have a $6 bottle of conditioner that I love as opposed to the cheapest thing on the shelf because whatever - and using and loving the good conditioner doesn't make me a bad person. 

I have to remind myself of these things. 
I have to remind myself that some days, I am overwhelmed and need to let my brain check out of reality for a bit, and spend an entire day playing video games and not dealing with the news, the bills, the worries over everything - for a little while I can do that and it doesn't mean I'm weak or selfish or vain or narcissistic. 
Self care is not usually an automatic response for me. 
I'm getting better. Therapy has helped me learn to be more in tune with what I feel and what I need. But it is still not what my "natural" mode. My default is the deeply held belief that I am undeserving and selfish. But I fight it. 
I write. I read. I take deep breaths. I talk to friends, I talk to myself. I listen to myself.
I am getting better. 


(Sorry for such a long post - didn't intend for it to be so long, but kudos to you and thank you if you made it this far!) 


Sunday Confessions January 29, 2017




I Confess: I stopped taking birth control pills for several reasons, and so my hormones & moods have been more than a little:



I Confess: I am back to work after being off for a month due to an injury to my right rotator cuff. They say money can't buy happiness, but it can help you from obsessively worrying about how you're going to pay your electric bill, and I think that's something. (Being able to pay bills: underrated source of contentment since the first barter system was invented.) 



I Confess: I am at a point where I am beyond words with the stupidity of the American public. I am embarrassed and horrified and some days it takes all my strength not to go off on people.  
Honestly, some days, eugenics seems like a good idea. (Not in the nazi way, but in the "can we not have selfish dipshit bigots breeding?" kind of way. And I should note that I don't care how . . . less than bright someone is if they have a good heart. So it's not just an IQ thing.) 










Film Friday: Cooties

source/imdb





This is a horror-comedy that is kinda gross in places. And it's awesome. I cringed. (Actually, the beginning of this movie, probably one of the grossest things I've seen on film and may have to rethink my meat-eating lifestyle.) Anyhoo....I cringed, I laughed, I cringed and laughed. 
This movie delivers on what is promised in the trailers, and truthfully, I wouldn't recommend this movie for kids; the humor is definitely adult and ranges from subtle to "this is going in the trailer" obvious. 
I did have a fun time with this movie, I first watched it on the sci-i channel with my sister where it was edited for content and a little bit for time. I enjoyed it enough that I checked out the uncut version and if you choose to see this, I HIGHLY advise the uncut version, as it was meant to be seen.

I'm not going to buy it, but I can definitely see myself watching it again at some future point.

For me, the only real negative I have for this film is I feel like the last 10 or 15 minutes kinda went off track, not terribly, but it wasn't as seamless as one would like. Additionally, I found the final climatic scene to be . . . a little silly. Like, I know what we're dealing with here is not believable at all, but the climax went {just outside} of reasonable suspension of disbelief. 
The ending scene is not a neatly wrapped package, but it leaves it open for a sequel, which I have zero doubt will eventually happen.
(I should say that a lot of people were like "meh" about this movie and think it's a one-shot can't-carry-a-sequel thing. But...Hollywood, guys. A lot of points in the movie point to a sequel and truth be told, I feel like it needs one in order to wrap up all the loose ends. Without a "Cooties 2," the ending of this one would be just TOO clunky. So I am reserving judgment on that.

B+

Heads Up: Violence, gore, {carnage!} a fair amount of swearing but overmuch, some drug use, adult humor. Also, the beginning scene. Seriously, the opening credits...shudder. (It is worth noting that I watched some of the commentary and the chicken was 1.) Yes, a real chicken and 2.) It was already dead, it had died naturally and 3.) The "process" was the product of the film maker's imaginations, but I imagine it's not far off.

Can likely be seen on sci-fi channel (don't watch it there, I beg you.) Available to rent.





Stuff I'm Loving Right Now

STAN AGAINST EVIL


Currently* can be viewed on youtube and also online and via app depending on your cable provider. Also, if you have Charter cable, it's currently on demand.


DIRK GENTLY'S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY


Currently* can be viewed online at BBC America, which is the only place I've found it available. Again, this may be subject to your cable provider. Also - It's BBC America, so what I'm wondering is how that works for other countries, too. Scotland, England, Thailand? How does that work? I'm curious, guys.

OVER THE GARDEN WALL


Currently* available on Hulu and apparently for sale. This show is bizarre as hell and I love it.


SCREAM QUEENS


Currently* available on Hulu and I'm not sure where else. 


* - Obviously subject to change.

Sunday Confessions January 15, 2017





I Confess: I have a pinterest board for things that I want to check out but at another time and don't want to "like" because - you know - I might not like them.



I Confess: I am going through a downward cycle in my anxiety and depression. I hate it. Fighting through, because the only way to get through it is to do that - get through it - but it SUCKS BALLS.

I Confess: To be honest, things are rough right now in a lot of ways and I'm really just...I don't even know. I kind of wish I could just be in a coma until Spring.

I Confess: I had a confession and then I changed it and then I changed it again, because everything I was confessing was too ruin-your-day depressing so my confession is I'm not putting those out there.








Film Friday: Bridget Jones's Baby


source/imdb




I am a fan of Bridget Jones in general; she is incredibly relatable and I laugh every time I read the (first two) books and of course, Mark Darcy's 'just as you are' speech in the first film is just so {girlish mode activated} sigh.

^ Actually one of the most romantic moments in film history.^

This third film is 1.) Funny, and 2.) Way better than the 3rd book, Mad About the Boy, which was...good(ish), but incredibly depressing.

Baby is of course not as good as the first movie in the series, but I find it superior to the 2nd, which, while enjoyable, made Bridget seem more like a caricature than a character. (The second BOOK is FAR better).
This third film has classic Bridget awkwardness and making the occasional questionable decision, but it also shows she has grown up, she is more mature, which I was pleased to see.

It's not groundbreaking, or bust-a-gut hilarious. It's predictable because you know what's going to happen. But it's ok, because that's the movie viewers want. They want Bridget, and they want her to have a happily ever after - in some form or another. It's a delightful, enjoyable popcorn film to curl up in your jammies and watch on a rainy Sunday. Would I say "this movie is amazing?" No. But is it enjoyable and fun and funny? Yes, absolutely.

B+

Heads Up: Um...nothing really terrible, no worse than the other movies. Mild adult situations/language.



Links For Laughs

There are so many things I could and will eventually perhaps link to. But I am a big believer in the importance of laughter and silliness.


So these are all short little videos to make you giggle, except for the amazon thing, which is just a picture list but definitely a laugh-out-loud list.
I hope you will check out/enjoy them all.


Guy reading fake books on the subway Trump Presidential Era Edition





Meower Rangers:


New Year's Vague Declarations of Semi-Intent





So all the cool bloggers have already posted their New Year's Resolutions/intentions and words for the year.
I don't have a word for 2017. I have a sentence. "Don't be such a lazy fucker."

I mean, I could give you the crazy turn-myself-into-magical-new-person list we all daydream about  a′ la  Bridget Jones.

I guess these are the things.

1.) I aim to work on my writing a lot more. 2016 wasn't a good year for me writing: I wasn't nearly as productive as I like to be, my brain felt empty with nothing to say.



2.) I plan to be much more active in my blogging with more regular posting and I have a bookmarked list of about 10 blogs I want to check out to see if I want to add them to my reading list. Last year wasn't great. (See above gif.) 

3.) Tied directly in with number 2 is the goal of working on being more social media present - specifically with my blog. That's actually why I reactivated my twitter. (A bonus of having a twitter account is that it's actually a super good way to keep in touch with Steff and discuss very important issues like why is it that Rory Gilmore has never had an unrequited crush? (Surely not EVERY guy she develops feelings for inevitably likes her back. There should be a guy who is like "you're boring and not sexy enough.") 
But I digress. In pursuit of having an actual writing career - especially in the age of digital identity - it's necessary to get "your brand" out there. Advertising. 
For a BRILLIANT example of the above, go to this link and read the short story, My Novel is Brought to You by the Good People at Tampax by Helen Ellis. (It's very short but darkly hilarious. If you read it, I'd love to hear your opinion.) So, yeah. Branding. (Groan again.) 

4.) Detox from sugar. Because while I haven't written about it (yet), I definitely have a serious sugar problem addiction. 



(PS, the reason I haven't written much on this subject is I'm trying to find the sources I want to cite but it's all involved and that just gets in the way of my being lazy time. See numbers 1 and 2.

5.) Oh, I have others. But the rest are more....find the perfect face wash, listen to more music, blah blah blah.


Sunday Confessions 1-8-17




I Confess: I took 2 Pamprin half an hour ago and now I need a freaking nap because of all the drowsy/druggy feelings. But it works the best.

I Confess: I reactivated my twitter account and I'm actually using it. Not for anything important, mind you. (Oh and it's under @BookofBecky
But feel free to follow along so you too can read my stupid opinions about TV shows.

I Confess: I am SO SO SO disgusted and just....over it....with worrying about money and insurance and healthcare costs and just fucking all of it. You know that saying two steps forward, one step back? Sometimes it really feels like two steps back, with one step forward occasionally. Just sick of it all.

netflix season 3 orange is the new black oitnb idk








Sunday Confessions January 1, 2017




I Confess: I've been doing a bunch of reading lately, but it's all brain candy, nothing that would be defined as "serious."

I Confess: I don't have any resolutions for the new year. I wish I did...maybe, kind of? I think for me what I really wish is that I was more disciplined or cared enough to stick to resolutions.

I Confess: I have a lot of writing inside of me. Part of me is afraid to do it. You know that quote "you just open a vein and bleed*"? Yeah...I'm not sure how ready I am to let that out. It's like therapy - so good, but so draining on so many levels and I guess I'm just scared to "open my veins," so to speak.


South Park randy marsh bleeding laying beaten
Post-writing feels


I Confess: Now that Christmas is over, I am not feeling the above header image. I might make another. Who knows?

*Not the exact quote; several versions of this quote from several different authors and columnists. Ernest Hemingway is generally cited as being the source, however, there is some debate about who actually said it first. 









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