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You guys, I think I’m starting to like Mondays. What? I know. It’s weird for me to say. But, all throughout the pandemic, I’ve really struggled with weekends. I never know what to do with myself!
I have made it through most weekends okay because I started making a to-do list of things that aren’t work-related, but they keep me busy. But yesterday I nearly had an anxiety attack and I’m just really glad to see Monday is here.
The week days have structure and there’s podcasts to listen to a TV shows to look forward to (I know my life sounds so exciting right now), but it’s the truth!
Anyway, the latest read from Blanche’s Book Club is fitting: “Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies” by Tara Schuster.
This book is basically a modern guide to self-care (actual self-care, not the stuff people pretend is self-care). As with any self-help book, I think it’s going to be great for some and others would write it off as woo-woo.
But, I loved this book!
Tara puts her suggestions for fixing your life inside things that she’s experienced, so you get to see how the ritual helped her. Of course, not every single thing is going to be relatable or helpful for you, but I marked up so many things in the book to refer back to.
Some of the rituals I’ve already started doing! Such as:
- Morning pages. This idea was not Tara’s but she explains how much it’s helped her and it inspired me to try it. You write 3 entire pages in a journal when you wakeup before you check your phone or email or whatever. It’s meant to be a place to write without judgment and get to your inner-self. I’ve been doing it every morning for 8 days now and I love it! Granted, it’s difficult, but I think it’s just a great way to clear the slate and start the day.
- Buying the fucking lilies. This is a phrase to remind yourself that you’re worth that thing that brings you instant gratification. We often deny ourselves life’s simple pleasures, especially when money is tight. This is something I’ve always believed, but I love having this phrase to wrap it up in. When I had a 9-5 job, I would buy myself a fancy latte on pay day and I remember someone telling me I needed to find ways to treat myself that were free. Umm… or I could buy myself the fucking latte!
- Keep a list of nice things you can do for yourself. This is similar to my idea of the weekend to do list, but it’s a list of ideas to treat yourself daily. For me, this includes things like giving myself a facial, a mani-pedi, a hot bath, or making a nutritious meal. Tara suggests picking one thing from this list each day so you can look forward to it all day. I plan on taking a walk this afternoon, so I’m going with a hot bath afterward.
- Mindfully drinking. Tara suggests being more mindful about alcohol. She chooses the number of days each week she’ll allow herself to have a drink and sets a two-drink limit for herself. I like this idea for myself because obviously during the pandemic, I’ve drank at home, by myself, and there have been times I’ve drained a wine bottle and not thought twice about it. I’m not judging myself, but I do know very well that as a person that struggles with anxiety and depression, drinking like this doesn’t do me any favors. It also doesn’t help my sleep or how I feel physically the next day. But I do love being able to have a little wine; I love trying new wine! So this idea… why didn’t I think of it? I tried it last week and I measured out a 5-ounce glass of wine with my dinner and it was fantastic. It was enough wine to taste and to enjoy with my meal, but I wasn’t drunk and it didn’t affect my sleep or my mood.
I am so glad I read this book and I’d definitely recommend it if any of the above sounds interesting. Rarely have I read a self-help book that had completely new ideas, but they always serve as a really nice reminder of things you can do to improve your situation.
Memorable quotes from ‘Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies’
- You have the ability to literally write your own story, to slay your worries, to unbridle your dreams. You can be the version of yourself who wears a dress made of all the night’s stars like it ain’t no thing, who floats above the petty little annoyance of life and looks back down to Earth with a clear, peaceful perspective. You can’t control the narrative of the outside world, but you can control the story you are telling yourself in your journal. I suggest you make it a good one.
- But gratitude helps you to, once again, see that you have a choice in what story you tell yourself. You can tell yourself you are worthless and ugly because some guy hasn’t texted you back. You can tell yourself that because you haven’t gotten the next promotion, you’re falling behind professionally. Or. You can remind yourself that you are grateful for the love of your friends. You can tell yourself are happy to have a steady job. You can be pumped as hell about the most perfectly sweet and plump blueberries you bought at the farmers market. Life is not always a list of problems to be solved; sometimes it’s actually made up of fun and ease and beauty and laughter.
- Taking yourself seriously means allowing yourself to have a dream, a vision, a hope for your life. It means putting in the work, little by little, to be who you know, deep down, you are and want to become. It means living your life in pursuit of your most authentic self, the self that wants to come out and dance and flirt and conquer the world.
- I think that a lot of people lead their lives never having really lived them at all. They play the roles they were assigned early in life, without questioning if they even want to be this way. They get comfortable, even with really uncomfortable circumstances. They let the days and weeks and years wash over them and never see that they have the power to change IT ALL.
Book Club Questions for ‘Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies’
- What rituals from the book will you take and apply to your life?
- Did the book spark any additional ideas for change in your life?
- What are some of the things that will be on your list for nice things you can do for yourself?
- Was there any part of the book you disagreed with? If so, which part(s)?
- At the end of the book, Tara asks: “What’s your Paris? What’s your sunrise run? What’s your bag? What are your lilies? What are you waiting for?” …So? What are your answers to these questions?
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