as i type this, i’m sitting in the lobby of my local ymca. There’s a man sitting behind me who randomly shared with me his strategy for hiding larger bills (in this case, large meant $10) somewhere in his wallet. He was down to his last 2 bucks, and then found the $10. “I love me. I just love me,” he said with a glimmer in his eye and relief washing over and through him.
It’s the little things that can bring so much joy. It’s the remembering to put your keys away in their place when you get home so you don’t have to search everywhere in the morning. It’s preparing snacks for the diaper bag the night before so there’s a little less scrambling in the morning. It’s doing things for yourself that will bring joy, maybe even surprise, later.
What’s so important about what he shared with me is that he was so fully appreciative of himself. He was so clearly happy about finding this money and didn’t hold back in that moment. And, perhaps most importantly, he was intentional about setting himself up for success.
Lesson learned for the day? Yes.
What this translates into is this: Care for your future self. Think about what you might need later and takes steps today to meet those needs. Prepare. Plan. Anticipate. Yes, we absolutely need to learn how to sit with uncertainty and curb our need to control everything. But, planning can go a long way in alleviating anxiety and fear when we’re met with unknown situations. When we’re resourced, we can relax into life a bit more easily.
Some examples of this might be:
- If you’re a new mom or dad, put a change of clothes and some extra diapers in your stroller/trunk/diaper bag. (I’m terrible at this, and have had many situations where I think, “Ugh, why don’t I carry extra clothes?! You’ll be surprised at how children are water magnets.)
- If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, talk with people about your fears, worries, etc. Know what lives inside you as much as you can. (If you’re interested in joining a pre-pregnancy group, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Whenever you leave the house take an extra snack with you (or buy an extra box of snacks to keep in your car.) Or some Kleenex or handkerchief. Or hair tie. Again, you never know.
This isn’t about preparing for any and every worst case scenario; that will create more stress and anxiety and isn’t even possible. It’s about treating your future self in special ways that will, in turn, reduce the amount stress and anxiety so you can, one day, excitedly find the thing and say, “I love me. I just love me.”