You may have heard already that my husband was injured. He lost consciousness and fell onto the subway tracks on February 19. It’s been a tough week-and-a-half. He’s now on the physical and occupational therapy floor of the hospital, so we’re seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.
Through this experience, lots of people have said to me, “Take care of yourself.” I know that’s sometimes just something to say, like “Have a nice day,” but there’s been a powerful energy behind this message from many caring friends. I’m taking their advice seriously, trying to follow it, and pondering what this simple admonition really means.
With the extra obligations on my plate right now, I have to be rested. I have to be calm. I have be fed. Otherwise, I couldn’t cope. The night of William’s accident, I got no sleep — a genuine all-nighter like I remember from high school when taking No-Doz tablets and cramming for a test seemed sophisticated, grown up and, frankly, fun. At this phase of life, seven hours in a cold ER plus 36 hours without sleep meant that I ended up with a cold. It lasted only a few days but it was harder to do what I needed to do with the added burden of a drippy nose (and having to wear a mask in the hospital). In that instance, I had no choice; an emergency was going on. But since then, I’ve made some “selfish” choices to be sure I’d be up for the long haul.
One delightful gift on this front happened with Ruby Warrington, my guest on the episode of the Main Street Vegan podcast that’s up right now. Ruby is the author of Material Girl, Mystical World, and Sober Curious, a movement she founded to support people who don’t have a drinking problem but who think their lives might be better if they chose to never (or rarely) drink.
Toward the end of the interview, she mentioned that she practices Transcendental Meditation (TM). I told her that I did, too, but that I’d never managed to consistently get in the recommended second daily meditation, suggested for late afternoons. Somehow one of us realized that that was Ash Wednesday, and that instead of giving something up for Lent, we could commit to that second meditation for the 40-day period. We agreed to bookend the practice with each other via text every day. We shook hands and made it official.
Believe me, with everyting going on right now, there’s no way I would be taking 40 minutes a day out of my life to meditate (two sessions, twenty minutes each) without this commitment. But with Ruby’s support, I’m doing it day by day. Sometimes it’s evening or bedtime instead of late afternoon, but it happens.
And I’m eating food that grew, and cutting to-do’s from my list, and I’ve had the away message on my email from time to time so people get a response from me when I’m not able to respond directly. Of course I want to be WonderWoman, to amaze myself with “How does she do it all?” But I know that if I weren’t taking care of myself — being “selfish” sometimes – I wouldn’t be doing half of it. So, allow me to pass onto you what so many people have recently given me: “Take care of yourself.” We’re all counting on you.
Victoria Moran is the author of Main Street Vegan, Creating a Charmed Life, Younger by the Day, and The Good Karma Diet. She hosts the Main Street Vegan Podcast and is the founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy, training and certifying Vegan Lifestyle Coaches and Educators. And once or twice, she’s tried her hand at standup.