Pastor Hargraves: On the Need for Self Care

There is going to be a painting project soon. Not sure exactly when but it is likely to happen before the school year begins. For the painting to occur, the paint color had to be chosen. The color choice – grey or gray. Light grey/gray.  And so began the process of selecting the color.

The numerous choices within the light grey palette is unreal to my minimalistic mind. I just wanted to have three maybe four shades to choose from and pick one. But no, there had to be eighty plus that would all be to my consideration “light gray”. The more time spent looking at gray/grey colors and thinking I was ready for the choice, the more I had thoughts of doubt.

What if it does not look nice? What if no one likes it? What if we do not get enough paint? What if? Good grief Charlie Brown, it is not reattaching a limb. It is paint; light grey paint. Just make a choice, I thought, with teeth clenched.

And then, the voice of reason. “I will pick up a few samples and paint them on the wall. We can pick after they dry.” I am still thanking God she picked up one color sample and it looks very good in every light and shadowed area. Only one sample because there was no help in the store’s paint department. (Thank God for no help at the store either.) One choice, it works well. One choice, even better than three or four! Bring on the paint project with this paint color; light grey. Well, more specifically sea glass grey or is it sea glass gray?

It is clear now that the selection of the pain color that seemed a bit overwhelming really was not the root of the problem. It was the proverbial mess caused when there is too much going on and not enough self-care happening. I think of the paper plate commercial that has the spoonful of whatever plopped on the paper plate and the paper plate collapses. Well, honestly, nothing collapsed but geez did I get caught up in the grays and the greys for too long because my plate was full. The fullness of the plate not the problem; I had the “right” paper plate brand to hold up all that was on it, rather my self-care was lacking. Perhaps like one that forgets to take the anti-reflux medication before bed. Oops, that’ll wake you up, for sure.

Sometimes the little things remind us of bigger things. Today, paint color reminded me that self-care is important and needs to be our priority. Self-care goes at the top of the list. It does not have to take a long time or a lot of money. It does go a long way. It makes us kinder, more focused, and more self-aware. It promotes healthiness of body, mind, and spirit. It promotes independence in others, relaxation in oneself, and good stewardship of one another. Maybe your self-care means saying “no” or giving yourself a break to have breakfast for dinner tonight. Maybe your selfcare means, fifteen minutes of exercise no more excuses. Maybe your selfcare means, jamming out to a favorite song – two minutes of ME time.

Whatever your self-care is, give yourself a little time for your health, so that you aren’t bothered between gray and grey.  I’m going for a walk around the block now; it is good for my soul and the next choice I will need to make. And I think I will call my sister-in-law, she tends to choose soda and snowcaps for lunch. She might need a self-care chat.

Peace, Pastor Dawn