A few weeks back, I had the chance, or rather made the time, to do something I rarely do; a movie with my husband. I typically opt for date activities higher in conversation and connection, but it was actually me who wanted to get to the cinema. I’d been wanting to see Inside Out, Disney and Pixar’s latest animated film, about how our emotions guide us through daily life. I’d heard the movie had scientific backing and was so curious to see how it all played out.
Inside Out was an interesting show; I’ll leave it to you to watch and find out the story line. The process of getting myself to the movie was an exploration of care. I wanted to see the film and I wanted to see it with my husband. We needed childcare, as despite it being a kid friendly event, I wanted to be childfree! I’m not a huge fan of screen time for my son, but moreover, I wanted to enjoy the film without being responsible for his needs.
We did not have a plan in place, so when my husband spontaneously suggested we watch Inside Out one afternoon, and my parents offered to babysit, all I had to do was say ‘yes!’ Now, I know that this doesn’t seem like a big thing, but in the face of all the ‘shoulds’, sometimes saying yes to myself can be really hard. Thankfully, the gremlins inside my head were quiet enough for me to do something I wanted!
Armed with a fleece blanket I entered the theater. Yes, you read that right! Perhaps I should remind you, it is the middle of summer and I went to the show without my son in tow. A blanket was not the hippest of accessories, but boy, was it fantastic! I am always freezing anywhere the air conditioning is blasting. Instead of just coping, I cozily watched the movie in warmth and comfort.
It was nothing big – a movie and a blanket. Still, as I left the theater, I realized that I had cared for myself. If I had been influenced by how others were doing it, I could have easily fallen out of what felt good for me. Most adults who were there were with children. No one else had brought a blanket (that I knew of anyway!). The ‘right’ or ‘normal’ or ‘most common’ way of living sometimes just isn’t a great fit individually. I needed to pay attention to what I needed in the situation for it to be the best for me. If I can identify the little things that make me feel good, and actually do them, those little acts of self-care can make everything more enjoyable.
Where can you incorporate a small change to make a situation more tolerable, or comfortable, for yourself?