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Five Thangs Friday Sparking Joy

Five Thangs Friday #3

They say it takes a month to make a habit, so does that mean I’m one week away from Five Thang Friday being a habit?!?! This week has been pretty good to me. We’re continuing to settle into our new home and I’m adjusting to this commute (as discussed in a previous post). Read on for five things that have sparked joy/amused/humored me this week!

#1. The honesty of children

I teach 9th and 10th graders in a cluster classroom, which means that we focus more on life skills than academics. Instead of typical homework, I give a sheet out once a week that asks them to read for twenty minutes a day, have a conversation with someone and complete a household chore. When it comes time to collect their homework, I always prepare myself for a chuckle. Last weeks chore was for them to wipe down counters. As you can see from the photo above, they did not enjoy it and they’re not shy about telling you that.

I think the honesty my students have is one of my favorite things about the classroom I teach. Have you ever noticed that when you ask someone how they’re doing they don’t even pause to think before saying “I’m fine”? My students pause, and then let you know EXACTLY how they’re doing and I flipping love it. Side note: proud teacher moment because homegirl above used a complete sentence (we’ll work on punctuation later).

#2. Costco ERRYTHANG

I’m from a Costco family. What on earth does that mean?! My mom has worked for Costco for about fifteen years now, and we are HUGE advocates for Costco. When I was in college, I worked for them as well. 80% of my house has come from Costco, and a good 15% of my conversations are about my latest Costco finds.

Our new home has a pantry (!!!) and we got excited and bought all the clean goodies we could find at Costco. I used to go to Costco about once a week, but now that we have the space to store dry goods, I’m trying out going once a month instead. I’ll let ya’ll know how this goes.

On another note, I’m pretty dang impressed with the amount of goods I can purchase at Costco that fit our dietary needs. We loosely follow the Paleo diet, meaning no dairy (except for goat) and no artificial bull crap. We try to stay away from grains and added sugar as well. It’s so great that I can go to Costco and not only get the basics, but also fun goodies as well – like nut mixes and three brands of kombucha.

#3. This instant bone broth

I’ve been pretty sick this week – which I attribute to poor sleep (I’m that gal who needs a solid 9 hours) and self-induced stress. We found this gem at Costco earlier this week and it has been a lifesaver. It tastes delicious and is clean AF. All you do is mix with hot water and boom – you have yourself a great mug of broth. This is great for work, and I’ll probably be keeping a few in my suitcase for when I travel!

#4. My pseudo work fridge

On the note of being sick, I’ve been trying to keep myself hydrated with all the liquids. At work, I don’t have a fridge in my room but I discovered that my window is wide enough to store my drinks in! I’ve been able to have cold beverages all week and it’s been amazing! I guess this is one perk of cold Chicago winters! Maybe when it’s warm out, I can cook some eggs in the window sill. (If anyone is watching from Shark Tank, feel free to reach out to me for some equity in this brilliant idea).

#5. Early morning breakfasts with a friend

Egg Harbor is a breakfast chain in the Chicagoland area. In high school, when we would get late starts, we would gather there for breakfast. I met one of my best friends from college there this past Friday and had a blast. We met up for a 7:30 breakfast (which my husband thought was a strange hour) and it was glorious. There’s something special about getting up with the sun and meeting a friend for some quality conversation.

So that’s my week in iPhone photos. Hopefully next week has fewer germs! Happy Fridays homies!

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Sparking Joy

What Is Self Care?

We all get to that point where we’re tired, overwhelmed and don’t really a give a shite anymore. Sometimes it’s when theres a bunch of deadlines at work, sometimes it’s purely hormonal. So we have a chat with our friend that goes something like this…

Me:”Girl, I am SO tired. S.O.T.I.R.E.D.”

Friend:”Girl, have you been practicing self care?” [Glitter falls from the sky as the word is said]

Me:”Ohmygosh, no – silly me!”

Self care is a buzz word these days. Millennials flipping love self care. But what is it? The definition of self care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” Sounds legit but how do we do it? Is there a better way to care care of ourselves?

Am I self-caring yet?!?!

A quick search of self care routines leads you to over 2 billion results. Type self care into Instagram and you’re in a pool of photos of people with face masks on and rosé in hand. People are serious about this ya’ll. I found a reddit thread where people (mostly women, it appears) discuss their “self care routine.” Some women change their sheets every Monday, some women do a face mask once a week. One woman wrote that she wakes up an hour earlier than everyone else in her house to make sure her day runs smoothly. Another woman wrote “shower beers.” Is that a shower made of beer or a beer you drink in the shower? I’ve had my coffee in the shower before and it wasn’t all that relaxing but who am I to judge?

After looking into this topic more, I realize that a good amount of people have drinking listed as a self care technique. This raises a few questions for me. If self care, by definition, is meant to “protect your well-being” should drinking be allowed to fall into that category? When I think self care, I think yoga, skin care, and a lavender scented bath tub. Can drinking, which is a stressful thing for your body, be used to destress mentally? Or does self care just mean doing what you want to do, and what makes you feel happy in the moment?

Self care, and one’s self care routine is personal. What de-stresses me may not de-stress my friends. Here’s some insight into what I do for my own version of self care. I wake up every work morning about an hour earlier than I need to. I need that time to myself, to drink my coffee, to read (optimistically) or to surf the internet (more realistic). I’ve told my friends about my morning routine, and most of them look at me like I’m crazy. “You’d trade sleep for some quiet coffee and Pinterest?!?!” I actually don’t trade sleep. Sleep is very important to me. Ask any of my friends if I text back past 8:30pm. Nope! Why? Because ya girl’s phone is on airplane mode and my face is in a book, getting ready for a 9:30 bedtime.

Kombucha is deffo a form of self care for me

Sometimes I browse the racks of Salvation Army on a Saturday morning. There’s something about finding a great deal or a treasure that makes me feel happier. Books are also a huge source of self care for me (many of which I find at the Salvation Army – two birds one stone amirite?!) It can be a nice dinner with my husband or a just a long walk together. Sometimes, it’s a good cup of coffee and a long chat with a friend. A huge part of self care for me is exploration and trips. I find myself when I go to a place that isn’t home, and there’s a lot of value in that for me.

Sometimes, self care is a bee onesie, your best friend and hot cocoa

My point is, I don’t have a self care “routine” that I do weekly. I go by feel. I do what I need to do to feel good about myself, so that I can feel good about all aspects of my life and use my energy efficiently. For some people, a routine is what they need. Some people need some wine at the end of the day. Some people would say that a clean kitchen at the end of the day is their form of self care. Self care should be centered around your self, not what looks good on Instagram (although maybe, Instagram is a form of self care for you?) What do you do to take care of yourself? What are your thoughts on the concept of self care?