My Dad used to sing a song that started like this: “Who takes care of the caretaker’s daughter when the caretaker’s busy taking care?” When I’m stressed, I often find myself singing that refrain. It’s a reminder to me that I need to turn my attention to myself. And then I start taking care.
My Level One response is trash talk. I find someone I can talk trash with. It’s a great release and does no harm to others. It also often leads to Level Two which isSometimes I have to go to Level Three. That’s a bit more work. It’s not something I can do on the spot. But I’m always prepared to head to the
pool and swim off all my stress. Nothing beats a good swim. Sometimes I go there with my tears and weep as I swim. Lately, I’ve taken to bowing to the water before I slide into the pool.
If I still can’t shake the stress of the day or season of my life, I turn to my stash of fabric and plan my next quilt. Right now I have yards of different kinds of white-on-white fabric piled on the ironing board and a huge pile of indigo blue scraps on the counter–all there for me to play with as I draft out a kimono quilt. I know the top will look something like this:
But a bit more polished. I’m going to make a boro cloth kimono and ground it on a white-on-white background. (Funny, even writing about it ratchets down my stress level this morning!)
My last-ditch, when-all-else-fails response to stress is silence. It’s the way I start my day and it’s the place I return to when I feel the need to be restored. I’m going there now. Will you join me?