©2019 by ie3


Self-Care Is Not Self-Maintenance

I have always struggled with how to do self-care well. I don’t have all the right answers, but I am slowly learning what self-care really means. I struggle with burnout. During the endless days of family responsibilities, housework, meal planning and cooking, volunteering and actually working at my two jobs, being a sane person is an elusive goal. When I looked around to see how other people did self-care, I saw a lot of friends used meditation apps to help them relax, others would take baths or pamper themselves with manicures and pedicures. Others yet would go out for dinner and have that perfect meal. Even though those are wonderful ideas, I could never quite figure out why that didn’t wo

Spreading Joy

When I was leaving the health club a few days ago, a mom and her young son were just coming in. The boy was dancing down the hall. When I saw him, I could not help but smile. He was so full of joy and happiness. He didn’t seem to have a care in the world. The boy danced across my path. As they were walking past and the mom said to her son, what do you say? I have the feeling she was looking for him to apologize for cutting in front of me. He did not do that. What he did do was stop, look at me with a big smile on his face and say, “Good morning!”, in a loud clear and joy filled voice. He made my day. I kept walking forward and I shouted back to him “Good Morning to you!” Just as I said that,

An Invitation to Notice and Imagine

The weather is changing this week, the cold air is on its way, we are taking out our heavier coats and putting on more layers. The squirrels are hiding their nuts, the birds and the geese are getting ready to fly south. Every time I see geese flying overhead, I am reminded of Mary Oliver’s famous poem Wild Geese: You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the de

Facing Fears

“Fear has always seemed to me to be the worst stumbling block which anyone has to face. It is the great crippler. Looking back, it strikes me that my childhood and my early youth were one long battle against fear. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” These words, writ

View of a Support Team

My friend Betsy was an amazing woman. She enjoyed swimming, opera and cooking. She was extremely funny and intelligent, and had a deep and abiding faith. Betsy lived alone, her husband had passed and her children and grandchildren lived far away. Betsy and I attended the same church and our paths periodically crossed on different committees and at various events. Betsy’s health started to fail and soon she was no longer able to drive. It was at this point that I had the opportunity to spend a more focused time with her. Betsy needed rides to doctors’ appointments, someone to grocery shop and run errands with her. From time to time she needed a little company and some prayer. My church's Cari