& Five More that Allow me to Break the Rules
Recently I have realized, that to truly enjoy my life, I have to embrace my inner nerd. I resist doing things that seem “nerdy” or “dorky.” But I recognize now that when I label my actions as nerdy, I am sabotaging myself. Another part of me, which I also often repress, wants to break the rules, yearns for adventure, and enjoys pushing the limits of what’s comfortable. When I repress this inner rebel, she lashes out at my attempts at good self care with judgments such as “you are such a dork!” So I find that in order to embrace my inner nerd, I have to let my inner rebel loose too.
Here’s to embracing the nerd and the rebel! (Which one of my kids is which in this photo?)
First; the Top Five Dorky Practices that Have Improved My Life
#1. Go to sleep early
Its way “cooler” to stay up late. But I find the pay off for investing in 8 hours of sleep makes a huge difference in my energy and my mood.
#2. Put my clothes out the night before
Most advise I hear is to put our kids' clothes out. In my house, I’m the one himming and haahing about what to wear. This simple task (nerdy as it is) of putting out my clothes the night before gives me a much needed extra 10 minutes during our inevitably stressful mornings.
#3. Say what we are thankful for, before dinner
I still almost blush whenever I propose we do it. And yet, I can see the kids feel cherished and a certain playful reverence comes over all of us. We still get lots of jokes; (“I’m thankful for farts!”) but there are lovely moments in between.
#4. Dancing at parties
When you reach a certain proximity to… ah hem, mid life; dancing at parties is no longer cool. Unless someone is willing to get it started. Some of my happiest moments are letting loose and dancing with my husband and our friends. By this time in life, do we really need to worry about looking cool?
#5. Exercise (at least a little bit) each day
It somehow seems more appealing to strive for big exercise goals. Swim every morning! Join a gym! Get a personal trainer! For me I’ve found that committing to doing “something” even a 20 minute walk, every day, makes exercise a reality. It is not glamorous, but it is realistic, and it really does boost my mood.
Now – none of the above would be possible, if I did not let my inner rebel call the shots from time to time as well.
So, Top Five Ways I’m Still a Rebel!
#1. When the opportunity presents itself naturally, I stay up way too late (engrossed in great conversation, watching a good movie, or having overdue sex).
My Spanish husband, family and friends taught me the art of compensating for late nights by simply getting through the next day with an extra cup of coffee and not taking yourself or your daily tasks too seriously.
#2. I indulge in writing.
Am I making any money as a writer yet? No. Am I drawing more people to my website through my blog yet? Not really. Do I love writing? Yes! That’s why I do it.
#3. Occasionally, I drag my kids along to activities in which they have no interest.
This isn’t good for them, my inner nerd says. Yea, well they can take it. Sometimes you have to listen to live music in the park that you don’t like (without complaining) because you know what, mami likes it.
#4. I sleep in on the weekends (while the kids watch TV).
I know we should be out paddle boarding, or hiking, or otherwise being active together as a family. But sometimes getting an extra hour or so of time in bed, is just – luscious!
#5. Get out in nature.
This is where my inner nerd and inner rebel actually enjoy hanging out together. The wilderness feeds the “take good care of ourselves” instinct, as well as the “push the boundaries” one. The crashing waves of the sea, the tangled branches of the trees, the smell of moist earth, just can’t be beat all around.
How are you a nerd? How might you be more nerdy if you gave yourself permission? What is your inner rebel longing for? How do you feed your rebel, (just for the hell of it), and so you can freely embrace your inner nerd?