notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Being Kind – To That Special Someone

You!  I mean You!

In my obsession with Kindness this year, I have written about the many kindnesses we should extend to others, and the many kindnesses that others extend to us.

But Kindness starts in the mirror.

Why do you have to be so hard on yourself? Can’t you see how wonderful you are? How much you deserve good things?

When I was a kid, I knew a marvelous, intelligent old woman, Rachel, who had been a widow for a long time. As I grew older, and had to spend more time by myself, I asked her the secret to living alone. She said, “I treat myself like company every day.”

Rachel prepared nice meals. Used the good china. Dressed up even when she didn’t leave the house.

She was kind. She was kind to everyone, and she was especially kind to herself.

So to be nicer to yourself, why not start with Rachel’s habits?

Make nice meals for yourself. Good food, not junk food. Even my mother, who is 93, will broil some salmon, with a side of nice broccoli. She can do that for herself, and you can too.

And use nice dishes. Have a glass of wine in a beautiful glass. I didn’t learn this only from Rachel. My husband believes in enjoying your good china and crystal. And our everyday stoneware is lovely – he found it as we strolled by a shop window, and fell in love. Even a man can enjoy a beautiful table. Enjoy it every day.

And no cheap coffee mugs either – although they certainly don’t have to be too pricey. I am myself a bit hard on cups. But I bought a reasonably priced pretty set of six recently – (to replace the previous broken and chipped cups). They are polka-dotted – each a different color, and I find myself finding pleasure in picking which cup I will use each morning. Blue? Yellow? – how nice to enjoy this little ritual.

dotmugs

 

Back to the subject of food.  If you ARE going to indulge in something not quite so healthy – as you should once in a while – choose the really good stuff. My motto is: If I am going to eat empty calories, I am going to make them the absolute best empty calories in the world. No cheap chocolates for me. No bland cookies. No gritty ice cream. And I find that a small portion of something amazing is much more satisfying that a lot of something crappy.

But you should have an inexpensive indulgence too. An indulgence that is: Not Food. I think you are being kind to yourself if you can find an inexpensive pleasure or hobby to indulge in. I like makeup – I don’t need a new outfit when I want some retail therapy. A new lipstick will do. Maybe for you it’s music. Or a pedicure. Or going to the movies. Or maybe coloring books.

Speaking of coloring books. Be kind to youself by allowing yourself to like what you like. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating – probably worth repeating a thousand times: Do not be ashamed of what you like. Criticizing your own taste is so unkind. Don’t hide what gives you pleasure. It’s not a guilty pleasure. It’s a pleasure. Period.  So what if you like coloring books or word-search puzzles or kitten memes or “The Bachelor”? (Although you may want to re-think “The Bachelor.”) 

Or even – and I realize I am contradicting myself here in both talking about food and talking about cheap food – sometimes low-brow food is exactly what you need. Take comfort when you need it from comfort food. There’s a special delight in tastes from your childhood. I still love peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, and often took one to work even when I was a big-shot corporate vice president.

contradictwhitman

Here’s something that everyone can do to be kind to oneself. Be clean. No grungy clothes or grungy hair. That’s only permitted if you have the flu, and even then, you will feel a little better if you clean yourself up. Iron your clothes. I love to iron right before I wear something – it’s so fresh and neat and warm. And it smells good. And so should you. Whether if it’s just a nice lavender moisturizing lotion or a luxury perfume, take those few extra seconds to smell nice. It’s a bonus to anyone near you, but do it for you. I’m smelling myself right now, and I’m super nice-smelling and it cheers me right up.

If you need to get stinky, do it with pleasure. Find a sport you like. I like Yoga and Zumba. And I’ve just discovered “Pound” classes, and I am drumming my ass off (literally). But even more than strenuous exercise, by all means: Take A Walk. Walking is so lovely. It really clears your mind. I bring my phone along, for safety’s sake because I walk in the woods and because I see so many beautiful sights I want to save them in photos. But please, don’t check your mail or Facebook or Twitter. Don’t look at the internet. That is not being kind to yourself. Looking at trees is ever so much kinder.

And if you can, bring a dog on your walk. Dogs notice everything, and will help you notice too. The other day Theo found an antler that had been shed by a neighbor-deer. And he finds acorns and frogs – and sometimes carcasses of dead things, but we won’t talk about that. Dogs are so happy when they are out for a walk. They like it so much, you have to spell the word W-A-L-K, if you are not prepared to leave right that minute. Their joy will bring you joy too. But if you can’t find a dog, walk with a friend. Try to do it quietly. It’s so nice to just enjoy each other company (and each other’s smell) – you can leave the chatting for another time. And there’s always the possibility of a walk by yourself. Your own company is very peaceful and kind.

theowalkhappy.PNG

 

 

(By the way, lots of shelters would love you to volunteer to walk a lonely dog.)

Be kind to yourself in your environment too. It has always been my strong belief that a clean house is a gift you give yourself. You deserve to live in a neat, orderly fresh home. So just do it. Put on some music (I like cleaning house to Paul Simon’s Graceland) and vacuum and dust and clean the bathroom. Wipe the kitchen counters. Put away your laundry. You will feel calmer. And you will be healthier.

And to be extra, extra kind to yourself – once in a while (or all the time if you can), put a bouquet of fresh flowers on your table. Give yourself that beauty. You deserve it.

 

bouquet1r

49 Comments

  1. What a lovely post!!! These are all wonderful suggestions, and I find that I already do quite a few of them. And my guilty pleasure: pedicures…I get so relaxed, I need a designated driver to get me back home. Well, almost.

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    • I like massages once in a while. My favorite part – when the masseuse strokes my fingers and the “webbing” between – how heavenly!

      Like

  2. When I read the title, I thought “yes I need to be kind to my husband”. It never occurred to me that special someone could be me !

    Most of all, “stop criticising yourself” is the advice I would give myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We all need to be kinder to ourselves. We criticize ourselves constantly… even without realizing it.

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  3. I love these suggestions and I already do some,like get a pedicure, a chin waxing, some new house stuff, towels, dishes, and some good books and E-books for you IPad or computer. I am retired after 45 years as a professor/librarian and reading is a treat. I also blog late at night and that is fun. We visit our grandsons monthly in Chicago and treat them to meals out and museum visits and this makes us very happy. I believe we deserve to live our dreams and that makes me very happy, although many with more resources believe it is impossible, I refuse to accept that because I am elderly and retired I need to stay home and live like I am dying. Do what makes you happy is my recipe for seniors. Lizzy

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    • It seems very much that you have discovered the great secrets of happiness. Good for you!

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  4. I thought I’m pretty good at being nice to myself- until I came to the clean-house-part…. still working on that and only partly succesful.

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    • It’s not that I love cleaning the house; it’s that I love living in a clean house.

      Liked by 1 person

      • a clean house would do me a lot of good too- eventually it will come into reality.

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  5. I already do many of these things but you have convinced me to take my morning cup of coffee back to bed and finish the book I’m reading before I do anything for anyone else – thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In the past three months I’ve been very cool sister at cleaning house, and have even been buying flower bouquets for the sideboard. It’s lovely.

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    • *consistent, not cool sister. Did not check for typos before I hit send!

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      • I like “cool sister” – and it sounds like you are one! And fresh flowers make me so happy!

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  7. Being kind to yourself is very good advice. You can’t extend to someone else what you deprive yourself of.

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    • Very true. It’s like the flight attendants’ instructions: Put on your own oxygen mask first.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is all good advice (well, except for the house cleaning part – I’d change that up to ‘hire yourself a good housecleaner’; LOL!) If we aren’t nice to ourselves, how can we be nice to others?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a very good suggestion – I should have thought of that myself. When I was a so-called hot shot executive, I did have a housekeeper. That way I could enjoy my weekends.

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  9. Ahhh! LOVE THIS … life gets so busy sometimes that we often forget about ourselves (as I sit here in sweats, unmatched socks, an over-sized tee and a messy bun) <– lol I think I'm going to go get dressed up, just because you said so!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you got dressed up… but sweats are ok once in a while, as long as they are cute sweats.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I like the way you choose to walk with a dog, even someone else’s dog before walking with someone else, it made me chuckle. A great post. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I never thought about it that way… but you know…. it’s true. I’d rather walk with the dog.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pam

    I love the colorful coffee mug idea! Cleaning house is being nice to yourself if you enjoy a nice clean house! Like you said, I put on the music and at least enjoy the music and dance while I work.

    I would love to take a nice walk with you, Nancy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think perhaps we have a lot in common…. do you live anywhere near Connecticut? I have lovely woods to walk in!

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      • Pam

        No, I live in Arkansas, but I have a nice neighborhood and a great nearby wooded park to walk in. And I do enjoy all the lovely details of nature.

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  12. I agree! This post is so motivational! Always be kind! I post every day mostly but not restricted to fashion and travel haha. I just posted my London trip! I just followed you too! Hope to hear from you! XOXO CHY
    https://herlostmango.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice blog. Very professional. And even though I am old enough to be your grandmother, I am still very interested in fashion and beauty. In fact, I am thinking about adding a blog with makeup and skin care reviews – because there aren’t a lot of blogs out there reviewing makeup for older women.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello! Thank you so much! Your so sweet! I think you should do it! It would be so cool! 2 new posts are up on the blog now, my weekly favorites and an outfit post! I blog everyday too! Hope to hear from you! XOXO http://herlostmango.com

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  13. I did enjoy this post, the little things can make life so much nicer. I sent off several coffee mugs to the Op Shop on the grounds that life is too short to use mugs you don’t like. I bought two pretty ones with birds on them and use them every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree. Don’t use an ugly mug or an ugly dish – use beautiful things you love.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this, I am just learning to do things that I enjoy, just because I enjoy them. I have nothing to do this morning so I am reading, books, blogs, recipes, anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I disagree that you have nothing to do… you have reading to do! Very important!

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  15. I like your post. Being kins to yourself is important. Although I have to admit my favorite thing to indulge in is pizza and movies with my boyfriend I think it’s ok because it’s not every night. I like to eat healthy usually fish or steak and lots of veggies to go with it. Yum, being healthy and being kind to yourself even tastes better! I like how you suggest taking a shelter dog for a walk. I used to volunteer at a a humane society and I would walk the dogs at the shelter they loved it and appreciated getting out of their enclosures so much it was adorable to see their little tails just wagging away and them bouncing around on the walks. You can rent the dogs and get special permission to take them out of the facilities and take them for a walk at the park if you prefer, and I think this is a great idea. If you would follow me or check out my blog I would greatly appreciate it. Either way thank you for your inspirational writings. -bel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks… it sounds like you are really on the right track. And I agree that you should indulge yourself with your meal choices once in a while. In general, make healthy choices. But once in a while, every needs to indulge. I had the most decadent dessert last night, and I loved every bite!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Bryce Jungquist

    This is great and made me grin.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m enjoying your exploration of kindness. We can also use a reminder to be kind to ourselves. It can take some time to get into the habit of it. For me, I love time chilling in a Jacuzzi, walks in nature, sitting in the sun, buying myself some flowers after a tough week, and allowing myself to relax, meditate, watch some TV or read.

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  18. I enjoyed every word! So kind of you to share. Hope your weekend is as delightful as this post!

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  19. Yes, to all of this just yes. So happy to have read this first today as I try to make my way back into the world. My favorite kindness is flowers on the table, the one thing that makes me smile.

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    • Thanks. And I took my own advie. Bought a small bouquet yesterday.

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  20. Nancy-
    I needed to hear about kindness to myself today. I have gotten myself in a rather large “funk” this week – thanks for breaking into it! Sometimes all it takes is another person’s thoughts 🙂

    Like

    • It’s easy to let circumstances and worries to overwhelm you. If I made you feel a little better for just a few minutes, then my day is richer too.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. very thought provoking and a nice one 🙂 Loved it .

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  22. I loved it, had to share.

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  23. I.love it so much!

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  24. I love your view of kindness and we should all be practicing it more!

    Like

  25. livingGod'swayblog

    this week has been all about kindness and am thrilled to find that you wrote so perfectly about being kind to one self. thank you

    Like

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