Radvent: Caring

Caring Radvent by Princess Lasertron

“Zie ginds komt de stoomboot uit Spanje weer aan.”
~ Sinterklaas lied

Happy Sinterklaas!

Sinterklaas books

I forgot to order my kruidnoten this year so it is passing this household without much ado.

Today I’m busy wrapping up two Christmas orders and haven’t even started to draft the blogs about my two fabulous Friday outings. Technically I am 3 Radvents behind too. But you know what? ‘Tis the season to be jolly and I am going to do what I can each day.

holiday cards by Maike's Marvels

Ironically the second Radvent was about Balancing. The day I read it I thought “I’m pretty balanced” but now I don’t feel that way. Compared to last year, absolutely. Back then I lived and breathed my job almost exclusively. This year it has been more about self-care and getting to know myself. But with Christmas card orders to process and my own list of addresses looming this has not been the most restful weekend.

Radvent day 3 covers Fascination which is a topic I need to work on for my Unique Selling Proposition or USP. It’s hard to stand back and look at yourself as fascinating. I know I am in some ways, but how to turn it into a marketing tool is another story. It’ll come eventually.

Caring Radvent by Princess Lasertron

Image re-blogged with permission from Princess Lasertron

Yesterday was about Caring, which is something I am (too) good at. I love that Princess Lasertron says: “often, it is better not to care.” Especially as women we often care too much. I’m also more empathetic than average, meaning I take on far more of other people’s feelings than I should, and that can become quite a hindrance at times. On a personal level, this week truly has been an exercise in NOT caring. Not because I don’t, but because it helps me stay focused on what I need to do instead of what others need to do for themselves.

What did I start caring about this year?

1. Relationships with people. I realized I was more task-focused than people-focused, and this year I have made an effort to look behind the process and figure out emotional and spiritual drivers beyond “this needs to get done and off the checklist”.  After all, my checklists won’t matter in the long run, but people will.

My life has become more about being my best self so I can use that to help others achieve their best selves, rather than being the fastest at a task or doing the most projects in a day. I care more about interpersonal relations than I did before, both building and strengthening them, no matter how “inefficient” it may be to travel somewhere to see somebody, to just sit on a sofa and chat, or to pick up the phone and dial a number. In that sense, it is important to care, and healthy to do so.

“Remember, no one’s more important than people.
In other words, friendship is the most important thing
not career or housework, or one’s fatigue
and it needs to be tended and nurtured.”
~Julia Child, My Life in France

2. The relationship of my vocation to my soul. This is brand-new, but I also care more about my true self and a higher calling. I started my sabbatical thinking I’d take a few months off to travel and relax, and then launch into a business plan with (primarily monetary and recognition) milestones to achieve. But I realized the plan didn’t flow, nor did the financials for my original idea work out. I struggled with the Type-A business school graduate who wanted to have a bona-fide shop up and running by September.

Instead I had to shift that timeline to allow for a better plan to come out, something that I can sustain for a while rather than just having a business to have a business. I’m still not sure where that is going, but I am allowing for this to evolve instead of forcing something that will drain me or my resources in the long run. I have the luxury of time, and CAN explore further what it is I am truly destined to do.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! 

Both of these items relate to caring for my self, which is indeed a learning experience. I am trying not to be embarrassed about not yet having a fully operable business, almost a full year after my resignation. Things take time. In spite of being overwhelmed in my head, I know things are progressing and I’ve had some lovely interactions with people that are baby steps toward my new life and vocation.

“What matters? Very little.
Only the flicker of light within the darkness,
the feeling of warmth within the cold,
the knowledge of love within the void.”

~ Joan Walsh Anglund, A Slice of Snow

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