Give yourself grace.
Whatever you are thinking of at this very moment.
That thing. Give yourself grace for that thing you are hesitant to give yourself grace for.
As of this writing (and I write about 3-4 weeks ahead of when you read), it’s been a very rough week with very rough conversations and very rough decisions.
This isn’t my typical writing on finance. If you want that this week, go back and read an old post, such as how to build a good credit score.
I didn’t have it in me this week to write something technical or even focus on finances because I’m exhausted, but I still wanted to produce something this week.
Habits are important. I’ve been producing content every week for over a year and a half, and I don’t want to break that routine.
Why I’m Exhausted
I’m exhausted because caregiving is exhausting.
I’m exhausted because my dad broke his shoulder, and we didn’t find out until the next day.
I’m exhausted because the medical system in a post-COVID era isn’t as good as before COVID.
I’m exhausted because despite resources, being engaged to a physician, and flexibility with work, I’m still confused and frustrated.
I’m exhausted because I’m tired of being exhausted.
Autonomy vs. Safety
It’s challenging because I value autonomy and independence, but I’m also frustrated that we allow individuals to make decisions that are not in their best interest.
I get it. Where do you draw the line?
Do you force-feed people healthy food? Do you stop selling cigarettes? Do you ban alcohol? Do you force people to exercise?
Where is the line for independence and where does that line end for safety?
In many cases, the line is faint for safety and heavy on independence.
As an individual, I’m thankful for that lack of balance.
As a caregiver, I want to scream at the top of my lungs it shouldn’t be allowed.
Where does capacity begin and end? At what point do we stop allowing someone to make poor decisions for themselves when the consequences are so clearly terrible everybody, including medical providers, can see it? Why is the system not better set up to handle aging?
I have millions of questions.
Yet, I recognize, I have almost zero answers or solutions.
How I Am Giving Myself Grace
I’m giving myself grace this week.
It’s something I actually vocalized in a group session with Diana from All the Colors recently.
I said something along the lines of, “I’m not where I want to be this week, but that’s okay. I’m not going to worry about the small stuff and penny-pinch this week.”
Whenever bad things happen, I tend to try to control costs. After all, it’s something I get to control and feel power over when most things feel out of control.
Today, I bought lunch for a friend and me. I even went out for ice cream after.
The ice cream is overpriced, and normally, I’d balk at it.
But, I’m showing myself grace.
It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
I’m also watching more TV shows. It’s bad for me. I know it.
I’d like to watch less, but I feel dead early in the morning and late at night.
I’m doing my best not to feel guilty and to show myself grace.
Eating has been a mixed bag. With the chaos of this week, one day consisted of two breakfast sandwiches and half of a Costco muffin for dinner at 10 p.m. Sometimes that’s all you get when you go to the emergency department.
The other days have been better, but it’s still different than cooking for yourself and having everything you normally have available to you.
Sleep has been inconsistent at best. Switching timezones, flying, staying up late, waking up early, sleeping on a backpacking mat on the floor, and everything in between makes it tough to have quality sleep. Another reason I need to show myself grace.
Nobody is at their best with poor sleep.
It’s been a tough week. I’m trying to be okay with added expenses, even when my family is helping out with the majority, if not all of them. I still don’t like incurring them.
Sometimes we just need to accept what is and show ourselves grace.
We can all only handle so much.
How to Show Yourself Grace
If you are having a tough day, week, year, decade, or even lifetime, show yourself grace.
Let the small stuff go. Sometimes we lose it over the most inconsequential stuff. I’ve been there.
Something small happens, seemingly irrelevant, but with it piled on top of everything else, it’s the thing that breaks you.
If it does, recognize it, pause, take a few deep breaths (seriously, take a few deep breaths), and continue.
Something else you could try is to splurge on something.
Find that thing you normally wouldn’t buy. A beverage with lunch. A candy bar at the grocery store. Flowers at the farmers market. Whatever you normally don’t splurge on that is small, but has a powerful effect, buy it.
For me, it was lunch and ice cream today.
Make space and time for reflection or other things you enjoy.
It could be listening to music, playing music, going for a walk, journaling, meditating, or some other activity.
Maybe you need to work out, go for a run, or play a sport to work out some of the frustration to give yourself the energy to show yourself grace.
Whatever you think you need – that thing you are afraid of giving yourself – try it.
Summary – Final Thoughts
With everything that’s happened in the world over the past few years, it’s never a bad idea to give yourself grace.
While you are giving it to yourself, don’t forget to give grace to others. Be kind to the staff at restaurants, tell medical providers thank you, smile, genuinely ask how someone is doing (or better yet, ask “what has been the best part of your week?”), tip a little extra if you can afford it, and tell your loved ones you appreciate them.
Whatever you do, give yourself grace.