Monday, July 9, 2012

Keeping Your Marbles


When I was in college learning to be a teacher, one strategy for classroom management involved a glass jar on the teacher's desk, and when the class was being good, the teacher put a marble in the jar. When the class was acting up, the teacher silently removed a marble. When the jar got full, the class got a party.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the term "losing your marbles" and my opinion that if you can only have one thing in this world, it sure as hell better be your mental health. I believe hell and heaven are states of mind, and that we are always moving along the continuum between one and the other, "happy" when we are at least in the middle, and at times experiencing both the pits of hell and the ecstasy of heaven.

I'm already driving STM and my dearest friends crazy with constant reminders to "put a marble in your jar" - make the choice that fills your mental health jar, not the one that takes a marble away. This is really just another expression for self care, but self care I'm afraid has a "selfish" connotation, even though we've come to know better than that, haven't we?

Kathleen and I had an interesting breakthrough recently when we discovered we had too narrowly defined self care. We thought it it wasn't manicures, pedicures, massages, doing a crossword puzzle, sitting in an over-sized chair with an iPad, etc., it wasn't self care. We had not deeply considered what would put the most marbles in our very individual jars.

We are each super programmed to save money at all costs - including the cost of our wellness. To break that "cheaper is better" thinking is a challenge, but we start by adding tiny marbles every time we choose "yes" to the online shipping choice that guarantees what we need will be here when we need it, rather than saving $5 and freaking out it won't.

Because I am a proud gold card carrying member of Starbucks, after 15 drinks they send me a card in the mail for a free one - any drink at all. I carried the last card in my purse for over a month, visiting Starbucks many times along the way, refusing to use it because I had it in my head that because the drink would be free, it needed to be fancy. I didn't once consider my usual tall cappuccino "enough." I finally realized how ridiculous I was being and sipped my free drink of choice with great delight.

What will you do today to help fill your marble jar?

5 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Boy, this came at the absolute right time as I agonized over whether to drive my daughter to summer school or not. I'm tired this morning, and I'm going to say no and add a marble to my jar.

fullsoulahead.com said...

Early bed.

terry said...

Priceless!

Leslie at SugarAndSpiceADK. said...

Garden, sew and cook...3 marbles!!!

kario said...

Yay, you! I love that you're redefining self-care to incorporate more things. It reminds me of my wabi sabi post because that forced me to think about the things that make me feel peaceful and they can be as simple as deciding to let the girls fend for themselves for lunch while I walk around the block and pick lavender blossoms from the neighbors' yards...