Self-care seems like a buzzword, but it is an important concept. I think the pandemic has forced us to spend more time with ourselves, and we’ve realized that maybe we weren’t caring for ourselves as well as we should be. And of course for parents, people with demanding jobs, or people with limited resources, self-care is often something set aside.
I feel like I’ve been talking about Instagram a lot on my blog, but some of the stuff I see on there fascinates me. Maybe it’s just the algorithm, but lately I’ve seen a lot of content about self-care. Only I don’t really agree with what I see. Instagram says self-care is making protein smoothies at 6am and writing in a journal and using 14 skincare products on your face at night. I do none of that.
To me, self-care is having hobbies. It’s having a creative outlet. It’s having friends and healthy relationships. It’s learning how to be nice to yourself. It’s doing things that make you happy and not following what others think. It’s having goals. It’s experiencing everything in moderation.
I don’t like how self-care has become an aesthetic online and how it’s all about appearing a certain way (skinny, in cute activewear, and in a clean minimalist apartment). Me going to the curling club twice a week in the winter is self-care to me, but you’ll never see the Insta girlies doing something like that.
Under the aesthetic, there is some truth to what’s on Instagram. Caring for your body, getting fresh air, and being mindful, are all great things that can definitely be a part of good self-care, but just seeing it done over and over in such a rigid and commercialized way just feels gross to me. It feels inauthentic and fake.
Or am I wrong? Is waking up early and taking “hot girl walks” (a term I did not make up) and eating yogurt bowls the key to a better life? Have I been suffering this whole time and never even known?
On Facebook recently I saw some pictures of a trip a friend’s family went on. Every year, they and their other family friends go to the same place, and there are pictures of the kids literally growing up together over the years there. It looks like such a fun tradition that everyone is passionate about.
My family, on the other hand, has nothing. I was thinking about it, and we really have no traditions. We used to have some small traditions. A neighbour used to host New Year’s Eve party and a Labour Day BBQ, but those haven’t happened in years because the kids grew up and got busy. We used to see my mom’s relatives at Christmas, and then go to my paternal grandparents’ sometime in the following days, but both of those changed when we were teens due to shifts in the families. My dad’s university friends and the families get together every summer for a weekend and they were fun, but the offspring don’t usually go anymore. All that still remains is that my mom and I bake cookies near Christmas, and even that isn’t long-standing.
It also doesn’t help that I have no culture. That was something I could never really fully understand when hearing POC talk about their experiences and how much they value culture because I have none of it, yet really didn’t feel like I was missing out. It was all I’ve ever known. I’m half Italian, and we do literally nothing about it except maybe eat pasta more than the average family. On the other side, I’m vaguely and distantly Irish, and that has never once meant anything. So yeah, being White doesn’t help, but the truth is, my family is just boring.
I don’t even have traditions with friends. I am my best friend’s plus one to a Canada Day BBQ her family gets invited to, but that’s about it. I went camping with some friends in July and we said “We should do this again next summer!” so we’ll see if anything comes of that.
As I grow up and do my own thing more and more, it’s kind of sad that I don’t have long-standing, special traditions or events to bring me back and reconnect me to my roots. Should I have a family of my own one day, I have nothing to pass on.
…Yet, at least. Just because I don’t have traditions from childhood and a small circle of unsentimental friends, doesn’t mean new traditions can’t be made as an adult. I am open to suggestions. I’d love to hear what traditions (family or otherwise) you have and love.
As soon as I wrote the title for this post, I had ‘September’ by Earth, Wind & Fire stuck in my head. I hope it’s stuck in your head now too. And I also hope you have a good September. Some people love this month and some hate it, but I hope it’s pleasant nevertheless.
I never ended up going to the Exhibition last month (a big annual fair-like event in Toronto). The day we were planning to go was calling for rain and the tickets are good for whenever, so we played it safe, and I shall be there this month now. Fingers crossed for sunshine.
Though I have been to Florida before, I never went to Disney World, but that’s changing this month! I’m going with my boyfriend’s family, and I’m excited to shift into vacation mode and go to what is supposedly the most magical place on earth.
There’s a Canadian version of the game show Family Feud that films in Toronto, and I saw online that tickets to be in the audience are free and available, so I snagged some. It might be a long and boring day quietly watching the filming and laughing when we’re told to, but I’ve never been to something like that, and I like the show and the host, so I figured I’d go.
Fall TV is back! AKA Abbott Elementary is back on the 21st, and I’m looking forward to it.
This will probably be my last month wearing t-shirts and shorts for a while. That’s what a Canadian September looks like. What’s on tap for you?
I work in marketing, and creating content for social media is in my job description. Towards the start of new months, I always take fifteen minutes to see what national or international events are coming up because sometimes they’re relevant to the industry I work in or at least can inspire some other content ideas.
We all know ones like International Women’s Day and National Black History Month. Fast food joints like to market for National Fries Day and such events. But unless you go onto the sites that list them all yourself, I don’t think you’d believe me when I say that there are dozens of events literally every day and week.
And most of them are weird. One day will be National Popcorn Day and then like two weeks later it’ll show National Butter Popcorn Day. There are days for literally everything. August 6th is National Wiggle Your Toes Day. March 1st is National Old Stuff Day. November 15th is National Camp T-Shirt Day. Who made these? And why? Don’t get me wrong, though; I’m not mad about it. I’m firmly amused.
The sites that list the days out do try to provide some history and additional info, and it’s in these that you’ll see that some are sponsored events part of some company’s brand. For example, August is apparently National Anti-Frizz Month, and this was declared by a hair product company called Alberto VO5. But not all are a marketing ploy, some are just fun days to recognize some very, very specific thing you’d never think to celebrate or raise awareness for.
So I wanted to get in on the action. Or try to, at least. Both NationalToday.com and DaysOfTheYear.com have a form to submit an event, and so I did. I’m trying to make June 16th National Cool Beans Day. It’s a day to celebrate the fun phrase that more people should be using. A day to work it into your vocabulary with pride. I picked that date because it’s my birthday (but I obviously didn’t include that on the form).
The sites take a while to get back to you, so I’m currently awaiting the results of my applications. I’ll let you know. But even if it’s denied, you can still celebrate. These sites aren’t law or the be-all-and-end-all, they just present the info.
I enjoy looking through these weird and wacky days. Even the crazy ones probably get some participation, and I like there are people in the world having fun with it and celebrating mundane things or weird things. It’s pure.
Do you celebrate any weird National or International Days/Weeks/Months? Or non-weird ones?