Wrapping Up Month #6 of Extreme Self-Care

So what made your Absolute No list this month?

What are the things that you will absolutely not endure, put up with, or otherwise allow in your life after this month of Extreme Self-Care soul searching?

My list is short . . . so far.

I no longer:


skip lunch,

or put up with unnecessary noise.

I have had a tendency, all my life, to rush from one thing to another from morning to night without ever pausing for a rest. I don’t know what the big hurry is, but I’m the only one wielding the whip so I guess I could back off a bit without the world ending.

Actually, I have to back off because the world IS ending. At least the world the way I’ve constructed it for the past 50 years. I can’t sustain it any longer.

So I decided to stop rushing.

There’s only one problem.

When I slow down, when I take time, when I rest, my body doesn’t know what to do with itself.

Are you sure?” it says. “Are you really sure you can stop pushing forward, getting things done?

And I laugh (apprehensively) and reply, “Sure. There’s no reason to be doing so much all the time. I can cut myself some slack.” 

“Are you really, really sure? Because if I let myself go completely, I may never get up again.

My body listens to my feeble assurances and gradually relaxes further and further, lowering its defences, releasing the tension that keeps it coiled in ever-ready-mode until it can no longer stop itself from crashing through the fence erected between it and the deep exhaustion that has been pooling for years below all that rigid doingness.

Lately, I’ve been blaming my brain fuzziness and lack of energy on menopause, but I think there’s more going on than that.

I think I have finally short circuited.

I go from zero to overwhelm in half a second. The slightest thing is too much. I’m incapable of making decisions. And soooo tired.

And then there’s the noise.

I can no longer tolerate noise.

I have always loved silence. Left to my own devices, my home is blissfully quiet for the majority of any given day. Yes, there are times when I put on some music and, yes, conversations between people often take place, but I don’t consider that noise. To me, noise is the constant barrage of sound from a source other than the human being directly in front of me.

Neighborhood dogs barking when I’m trying to enjoy my backyard is noise. As is the lawnmower and whippersnipper two lawns down. And the roofers working across the street with their radio blaring.

A television/radio/stereo spewing its gibberish into an empty room is noise.

A mall is nothing but noise.

Movie theatres are noise on steroids.

There was a time I could put up with noise, even add to it. Not anymore.

I used to be able to join in with the brouhaha that was my teenagers doing the dishes. I could join in with the theatrics and dance along with their music. Now I have to retreat to my office, closing all available doors between me and the noise.

My husband talking on the phone in his office when I’m trying to write (or do anything, actually) . . . is noise.

His snoring when he falls off to sleep (seconds after his head hits the pillow, I might enviously add) is unbearable noise.

My ubersensitivity doesn’t stop with the noise I can hear.

My overflowing email inbox is noise.

The endless loop of facebook postings is noise.

The flyers spilling from my newspaper is noise.

In fact, my small town newspaper is full of noise.

So many opinions. So much rhetoric. So much stuff vying for space in my brain.

So many people with things to say.

Including me, adding my own noise to the blogosphere.

My house, particularly my office, is a cacophany of clutter. I can hardly think for all the piles of unfinished stuff yelling at me.

A few weeks ago, I unsubscribed from 95% of all email newsletters I receive. That was a blessed relief, but I need to release more.

I’m not sure what that will look like.

Or sound like.

Hopefully, it will be the sound of one hand clapping.

Now I’m going all zen koan on you.

Maybe I really have cracked up, but in a last bid attempt to hold onto whatever small bit of sanity might still be saved,

I Will Absolutely Not:


skip lunch,

or tolerate unnecessary noise.

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4 Responses to Wrapping Up Month #6 of Extreme Self-Care

  1. Inez says:

    Wow Maxine – it feels like you are in my head…especially the “cacophany of clutter”…thanks for adding your “own noise to the blogosphere” 🙂

    • That’s all you need, Inez – is me ‘noising’ in your head. I’ll leave now and close the door quietly behind me. PS – month 7 of extreme self-care is about clearing some of that cacophanous (?) clutter. Stay tuned.

  2. lorienyoga says:

    You are my voice! All the things I don’t give myself permission to say! Thank you for having the courage to express the unsaid things that so many of us are feeling. I want to write more, but I don’t want to fool myself into believing I’ll have the time for it; I’m pretty sure somebody will have a need as soon as I get my computer fired up…so just a few words tapped on my phone to say I HEAR YOU and THANK YOU!!!

    • It’s always a surprise to me when I learn that my ‘weirdness’ actually echoes what’s going on for others. Thanks for letting me know that it touched a chord with you, Lorien. I wish you silence at all levels today.

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