It’s not a rule; it’s a way to measure how I’m doing in life.
I tell myself this so that I don’t panic with all the responsibility or rebel against the “requirements.” Knowing beforehand that I will be imperfect at this is being gracious with myself. Thomas Merton prayed something to this effect: we hope that the desire to please God does, in fact, please God. I believe this wholeheartedly, and I also believe that holding myself accountable is
the responsible thing to do good for me. My resistance to post this, to hold it out in the light instead of tucked away in my journal speaks to how truthful this is, what power it can unleash.
I must be feeling brave today. Here goes…
For care of self
Daily: journal/read/write; eat well; sleep; honor healthy boundaries/limits
Weekly: exercise; spend quality time with husband; reflect on what I’m reading in a journal
Seasonally: take a personal retreat; clear clutter in at least one area of my life/home; reflect on new material to read/listen to
For Relationships with Others
Daily: pray; show love; smile; focus on the one I’m with without distraction
Weekly: give individual attention (preferably 30 min) to my family members; enjoy a game night/family activity; serve through outreach ministry
Seasonally: spend a weekend/time with friends/family
For Relationship with Creation
Daily: recycle; keep thermostats at reasonable temperatures; walk when possible; turn lights out (& lights off by 10pm); use washable items (especially water bottles) as much as possible
Weekly: tend a flower bed or place in the yard/garden; if eating at a restaurant, eat someplace environmentally and food-friendly
Seasonally: hike/camp/enjoy the natural environment
For Relationship with God
Daily: pray the Morning Office or participate in the Holy Eucharist; meditate/contemplate 20 minutes
Weekly: practice lectio divina with the lectionary; worship corporately
Seasonally: monthly spiritual direction; spiritual retreat; confession
This is not set in stone, and it will change with time. If the first step is the hardest, I’m on my way, but I’m sure taking the next gazillion steps will require perseverance and love, too.
I told my husband that I will share my rule with him tonight so he can be on board (he’s already been completely supportive with my self-care goals lately). He can’t wait to hear it, he says.
“Want to know my rule?” he asked.
On the phone? Really? I thought. “Sure,” I said out loud.
“It’s easy. Four words.”
I try to guess it before he says anything. He’s always making dramatic pauses. I’m thinking about love and family.
“Don’t be a d*ck,” he says. “It’s simple.” I can tell he’s smiling.
Here’s to the next steps in our lives!