Taking good care of yourself is an entire hobby
Dropping in a day early this weekend to say hello, happy snow day, and complain once more about doing the dishes.
This week’s newsletter is notably not about dating, even though a younger man with a sharp jawline may have stolen my hat recently, but that’s a different story.
Today, I want to talk about how taking good care of yourself is fucking exhausting.
There’s healthy eating. There’s exercise. There’s cleaning your bathroom; doing your dishes; restocking the fridge and freezer and pantry. There’s getting your hair done before your roots grow out; manicures; pedicures; waxes; dental work; laser hair removal. There’s therapy and meditation, sleep — oh god, the sleep of it all — and don’t forget to wash your face and moisturize daily.
Keeping tabs on the above, and more, amounts to a side hustle without pay — in other words, a hobby: an interest unrelated to your work and relationships.
Now, this all may seem obvious. After all, there are dozens of cottage industries within the lifestyle and wellness economy. In April 2021, McKinsey estimated that the global wellness market was worth $1.5 trillion. Gwyneth Paltrow exists. Home-organizing content is an age-old cultural mainstay, now especially on display thanks to Reese Witherspoon and TikTok. (It’s also, of course, pretty expensive, especially the laser hair removal, which incidentally is too physically painful for me to think about right now.)
I can’t say that I take the best care of myself, mentally and physically. I don’t floss every day; I’m in a constant state of wanting to lose some weight; I put off doctor’s appointments; my roots are grown out; and at this current moment, there are many dishes piled up in my sink from the last ~72 hours, some of which are caked in yogurt or peanut butter or whatever, so perhaps I’m actually disgusting.
Lately, though, especially since starting an invigorating yet challenging new job, I’ve found myself prioritizing self-care. Most nights, I don’t let myself get cozy on the couch until having cleaned up from my (home-cooked) dinner. I vacuum when I must, meal prep often, wash my face before bed, make the bed when I wake up, and get my workouts in.
That makes me feel good, but it’s extremely time-consuming. I watch less TV, am worse at texting friends, watch fewer TikToks, and generally feel More Serious, more run by schedule than whim.
It feels amazing to accomplish things that previously seemed out of reach — to suddenly be this girl who has her shit together.
For hundreds of nights over the last two years, a pandemic ravaged the world, even putting New York City to sleep. And so there I sat on the couch, eating too much takeout (usually Thai), binge-watching Downton Abbey, and basically not using my brain from the hours of 6pm to 11pm.
For a while, that was honestly pretty nice. I’m a very high-energy person — bitch, we know — and for years, my life was filled to the brim with non-personal-care things like frequent social plans (and, to be fair, many classes at Flywheel, RIP).
So the change of pace that led me to the couch, with my hours of TV and not worrying about calories and not caring whether I’d left the house that day… It was nice. I’m grateful for those days.
But I’m grateful that something came over me in the last few months, where I realized it’s fun to cook, to live in a clean home, to have clearer skin and hairless arms and manicured nails.
As it turns out, what I’m describing is kind of just… being an adult. It’s living a newer, upgraded, more mature lifestyle, full of choices like whether or not to leave dishes in the sink.
Right now, it’s adding up to Adult Me, someone who does have her shit together and knows it, someone who doesn’t envy those with clean homes and good self-care regimens, because she’s one of them.
And Adult Me will often still choose takeout over cooking, and TV over reading, or sleeping in over getting an early workout in.
But the sum of all those choices is a life I enjoy living, because I love myself. And that relationship does take work.
Losing a beanie to a 23-year-old is just noise.
Happy Saturday, friends.
Not sharing obsessions this week because I’m a busy gal, as outlined above! But also, I would love to get some feedback from you all about this newsletter and what you like (or don’t like) about it (but I’m sensitive so please be nice).
Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org