Pairing, to improve pleasure and friendly behavior toward yourself

Paired up

Paired up (Photo credit: Jay@MorphoLA)

Turning forty in a couple weeks here folks.  Grateful.  Have been pressing into the pleasures to be had from listening to a nearly constant stream of audible fantasy, sci-fi and fiction novels while jogging the new trail stretch from Rancho California Road to Winchester Road, between Diaz Road and the creek.  Or other places.

I’m jogging more, thanks to both reducing to basics and the pairing of symbiotic pleasures.  The novels are really just not enough to capture my time and energies of my current psyche’s journey.  Nor is jogging! Snore!  But pair those babies up and bam!  Pleasure.

Question:  What are you doing lately to be a friend to yourself?

Self-Care Tip:  Pare, to improve pleasure and friendly behavior toward yourself.

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16 thoughts on “Pairing, to improve pleasure and friendly behavior toward yourself

  1. You are jogging and reading and turning forty. I am more depressed than I have been in three years – and totally surprised to find myself here because I never thought it would happen again – and just trying to get from one foot to the next and one hour to the next. All of these posts, over the past two years, and I can’t figure out how to be a friend to myself at all. And bam! Terrified.


  2. Yesterday was my 51st birthday, tied up my neon pink laces and jogged the local trails. I am learning to walk/run. The trails here are stunning and I pair being in the forest with a creek running along side me, and all the deep forest foliage with jogging and walking.

    I pair having kind thoughts about myself (instead of how I can speak to myself) with wearing nicer clothes. Not expensive (thrift often) but just taking a few more minutes to put something just a bit nicer on instead of yoga pants all the time.

    There are many things I do now that are far more kind to myself. Hmmmmm . . . not into so much self sabotage these days. However, I really like how you have expressed “pairing”. That is a great concept.

    Lastly, I have been speaking my truth, out loud and in print sometimes. I have expressed my truth through a couple of situations at work, with family and even a letter to the editor. Speaking my truth has been so important to being kind to myself. It does have repercussions sometimes and I work through that.


  3. I honestly am not sure whether to even talk about my story (the most recent part) on this particular post. You sound so “up” and my story just isn’t. I need the support because the “bam” was more startling than anything else since I didn’t see it coming after over two years of being okay – whatever okay is with me – and the emotional, as well as physical (with Fibromyalgia), pain is almost unbearable. I was glad to see a new post, though. Thanks for that.


  4. I’ll try to make this short, then, because I guess I actually have taken care of myself in this case (which is just one more thing in the same journey I have been on all of my life)- probably better than in any other. It’s just that the reaction, the severity of it, and the “aftershock” have been pretty much crippling.

    I always knew that there was something wrong with life as I was growing up. Even having gotten married and having had two kids and having lived what I thought was a full, happy adult life, I knew that something was wrong with life as I was growing up. I either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, admit it. And then, for, what seemed like then, totally unrelated reasons (a new principal at school and my husband’s uncle’s death), I had a complete nervous breakdown when I was 52. Through way too many things to relate here (and, over the last two years with this blog, I’ve related most of them) I realized what the “something wrong” was and worked through the sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and abandonment issues my brain was telling me HAD to be normal because we were a normal, well-respected family – from the outside looking in. Of course, all of this was a “surprise” to my elderly mother and my two sisters, so that made my working through everything much more difficult…and made me feel that I was much more mentally ill because they would not (or could not) believe my story as it unfolded in my 16 years of therapy and medications and hospitalizations.

    My father had died less than a year before I had my breakdown. I gather that’s pretty normal in some cases. You can’t allow yourself to break down until the abuser is out of your life. My mother lived for another 12 years, and, during those 12 years, my two sisters and I would go to my mother’s house on Cape Cod to celebrate her birthday in October. Since that was the only time during the year that we saw one of my sisters, my other sister suggested that we continue to meet on the Cape in October to celebrate our mother and to see each other, and so we have for the nine years since my mother died. It was never easy for me. The questions, the comments, the constant “Aren’t we blessed to have had such a wonderful childhood!” remarks caused me to worry for months about meeting together and caused me to come home in varying degrees of emotional and physical pain that stayed for at least a month following the weekend together. My husband and children have worried for over twenty years about this October weekend and what it did to me, and my doctors and therapist told me I was crazy to go every year, but I kept thinking each year would be better – and I love Cape Cod and, to one degree, or another, both sisters.

    Three years ago, a question was asked about how I knew for sure what I had been saying I knew as true. I explained and then had what I called a mini-breakdown there on the Cape. My doctor said there was nothing mini about it and I should never go again. The following October, my husband and I ran away to our home in California so that I wouldn’t be able to go to the Cape. It was then that Friendtoyourself found me miraculously!! I got involved with this blog, stopped seeing my therapist, found a new physchologist in California and began a healing journey that I, until last week, considered almost totally complete. And, because I was feeling so well, I returned to the Cape with my sisters last October with the understanding that we would walk on the beach, play games, catch up on our lives and those of our kids and grandkids and that any discussion of our childhood would be totally off the table. And it worked. I was incredibly stressed and occasionally a subject would come up but my youngest sister would stop it and redirect the conversation to something else. I came home exhausted but sure that I had healed myself and Cape Cod October visits would never be a problem again. We’d still be walking on the beach in October well into our eighties!!

    And then came the phone call last week that my brother-in-law had put all of my father’s slides on discs, put them to music, and we would be spending this October on the Cape watching them. I got through the phone call, hung up, started to tell my husband and for a week I have been back to where I was emotionally three years ago. I stutter when I talk, I can’t stop crying, I don’t sleep, I have trouble eating, the physical pain is unbearable and my husband has proclaimed that, until he dies, I will never go to the Cape again with my sisters. My husband, the very, very gentle man whose temper I have never seen in 46 years and who has stood by me through all of these years of mental illness, finally put his foot very firmly down!!

    I called my youngest sister but couldn’t talk enough to get much out so she talked with my husband. No more Cape Cod. Certainly not this year. She would call my other sister (the one with the slide discs). But she didn’t, so several days later, I did it myself. Same inability to talk but my husband stayed away so I had to tell her, without help, that I would no longer be meeting with them. Remarkably, she agreed. She even suggested that it was the slide idea that probably put me over the edge again. Duh!! BUT, even though it sounds like it’s a good ending to a very long story, it isn’t. I was well, you see. This kind of reaction was never going to happen again, you see. I was a friend to myself so I knew how to handle situations like this, you see. But no. I’m obviously not well, this kind of reaction could happen again, and I don’t know enough about being a friend to Me to get through something like this, and I am absolutely terrified!!!! The problem of the Cape visits is over. My mental illness is far, far from over and I am in such shock that the crying and the pain and the inability to sleep or do anything around the house just won’t stop!! I know what my doctor would say and I won’t risk ECT. Cape Cod and seeing my sisters is not worth losing recent memories and I am convinced that I can handle the others, if I can get back on my friend to Me journey. But I am so scared and in so much pain and so far away from where I want to be…and so surprised that this happened!!!

    Sana, this is way too long but I needed to write it. You are welcome to take it off completely. I just didn’t know where to go to feel better and somehow I knew that just writing it down here so that, if noone else, you would hear it, would make me stronger. Thank you for listening. Thank you for a safe forum. Thank you for whatever you decide to do with this. It has to get better now. It HAS to!!


    • I’m sorry. This response is WAY off the current subject and I’m embarrassed that I wrote it…at least under this subject. If I weren’t such a mess, I could pair the artwork I wish I were doing with God who gave me the talent to draw, and, if I did the artwork and used that talent, maybe I’d feel better enough that I wouldn’t have written the above in the first place. That’s call being a friend to myself. I need to listen to me more often but sometimes I’m just to overwhelmed…..


  5. I find with the pairing of taking long walks with my sweet border collie/lab is most enjoyable. These outtings are physically healthy for us, also, combining our trust in our side-kicking around together. Meeting alot of people and other dogs. We see daybreaks, sunsets, moon & the stars, and even walk in the rain. I have been gifted with such a great loyal pet; and experience wonderfully filled days.


  6. My long walks with my border collie/lab mix are very enjoyable. Physically healthy and special times of bonding. Experiencing daybreaks, sunsets, the moon & the stars, even rainy days are welcoming. Her sweet and loyal attitude; adds to many memorable times for me. I am truly blessed. I do meet many people and their pets. But, being mostly, to myself..I still have my furry side-kick and The LORD’s Loving Promises, in heart and in my daily living… As, I said; I am blessed.


  7. grandma7501, I wanted to send you some words of reflection, that will add to an assured calming spirit. Hopefully you will find them, somewhat encouraging, through your pain and anxiety. I want you to know, I hear your strength, in your abilities, of your own physical endurance & the positive steps you’ve taken for the resolution of these problems. That takes courage!!! It seems harder for most, to confront their own family members, with problems within. You made a decision and stepped forward with it. That is a definite point of reference, in experience for you. There is a form of respect that is granted, more for yourself. But, in reflection, your sisters will also, respect that strength you showed. Sometimes, there may not be an agreement among everyone. But, you did express your decision. You may find that if, it seems difficult to express yourself verbally. Writing a letter can also, be easier in alot of ways. The reader also, has time to defuse & reflect upon the written message. I find it most healing, to write my feelings down. Then, I can reread my expressed words. I can also, reflect upon them. I can add to or delete something; to represent my message. You know journeling is very theraputic. It is amazing, in thought processing & creative reasoning. It will add to your awareness of your own abilities, desires, and conclusions. You will resolve many problems, in journeling. You shared that you are very creative in the field of art. Go For It!!! Do not let your problems take away, from your given talents. Art is also, very theraputic. It comes from the heart. Start anew in your given day; Today!!! Do the best you can; in getting outside everyday. Even, if its just sitting outside for 10-20 minutes. Try and catch a daybreak, at least once a week! Do some star-gazing. You might see a shooting star! Take a long bath or shower. Listen to wonderfully soothing music & nature sounds. Sing, Write, Read & Do Your Art!!! Start Loving Yourself!!! Be KInd, Fruitful, Humerous, Joyful and Call & Visit With A Friend…Share Your Beauty; with others who appreciate you. There are many lonely people on this earth, whom need a caring heart!!! Yours Is Beautiful!!! Go Grama Go!!! May The Loving Heart of JESUS Envelop You Living…and Life!!!
    Petals In HIS Hand…
    The torrent winds & rain beating fiercely around me,
    safely kept, against the storms of adversity;
    I am treasured and held; in heart and in hand.
    As a petal; that is tenderly cared for, in its floral array.
    Within the secure embrace of The Creator’s Holy Hand…
    Kept…As…A Petal In HIS Hand…
    JESUS Is The Rose Of Sharon…
    We are The Petals…
    A Petal held within The Palm of HIS Hand…
    As the morning rays kiss the shimmering dew;
    The echoes, of the falling drops playing tag, upon the leafs.
    The petals are nourished, reaching out in their floral display,
    Aromas ascending the meadowed garden; with its delicate perfumes.
    The elegance of beauty; in intricate perfection, a vastness of color and form.
    The breeze gently touching; as they move, in a unified dance.
    The hues are vividly portrayed; as an artists brushed pallet.
    I am refreshed, and in wonder, in all it’s creative beauty.
    Katherin Marie


    • Thank you, Katherin Marie. Your support and your suggestions and your faith mean a lot and help a lot, too. Your poetry is beautiful!! As the days have gone by since I wrote this lengthy lament, I have begun to feel stronger and, you’re right, turning to time outside and, also, to my artwork, has helped in making me feel more like me again. I had thought that the struggle was over. Obviously, it never is, and, blessedly, my sister actually expressed that to my grateful and great surprise. She – actually both of them – has suggested that we not stop seeing each other but that we see each other nearer where I live so that I will feel safe but the three of us can still be together at least once a year. Just that suggestion has made me feel, yes, safer and more secure about everything.

      I have felt very uncomfortable about writing so much about this pain recently – and terribly alone. I have loved the journaling that can be done on this blog, especially (I don’t go to any blog sites but this one, actually.) because, when I write here, rather than in a journal or notebook, I know that someone is “hearing” me. By responding, Katherin Marie, I no longer feel alone and you have no idea how much that means…or maybe you do.

      God bless you, my friendtoyourself friend.


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