Away to Focus on Self-Care

Photo of a Brown woman dancing and smiling in a blurry photo. There is a Brown man, whose face blends into the darkness, behind her.
Photo by a Friend

I have been away from my blog to focus on self-care. Do you see this photo above? That was me focusing on self-care nine years ago in the form of dancing and smiling at a friend’s birthday party. It is a blurry photo, but I am glad I did not delete it like I do with most blurry pictures. The details might not all be clear, but the joy in this photo is evident. This is definitely not a posed portrait. The birthday girl is not in this picture, but there is another old friend dancing behind me in this photo. I was looking through photos from this birthday a few months ago because I was reminiscing about this old friend. Unfortunately, he passed away. If it was not an intentional suicide, the few details I was given about his lead me to suspect it was an accidental self-inflicted death. Why? I knew from many conversations with him that he had a lifelong history of trauma, mental health issues triggered by the trauma, and suicide attempts.

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My CVS Customer Experience

Photo is of a Brown woman taking a selfie of herself. She has an ice pack on her shoulder. She is wearing glasses and a pajama top with a navy blue and white plaid pattern.
Photo by L. Laguna

It has been a long time since I have been on this blog post. I have been managing many responsibilities and practicing self-care as much as possible.

This is a photo of me from today. I also am sharing screenshots of an email that I wrote to Karen S. Lynch, the CEO of CVS Health. If you are someone who needs or wants to hear the email, I am also providing the link to the latest episode of my podcast for Unfiltered Snapshot. It is also titled My CVS Customer Experience.

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A Different Boat

Photo is of a field and the sky, which is partially dark and partially light.
Photo from Flickr

During the summer, I was in a meeting with colleagues across departments at my workplace. We were grappling with how to conceptualize the COVID-19 pandemic. A few people in the virtual meeting wanted to make sure that we were not making blanket statements about these times. One person emphasized that we were all in the same storm, but we were on different boats.

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Lunch with Lindsay: Parenting and Working During a Public Health Crisis

It has been seven weeks since you heard from me. Since I last wrote on here, I have been so busy that I recorded my last episode of Lunch with Lindsay in late August; however, I did not get to share it here until today. If you read my post on my other blog, you know that I am Forcing Myself Off of the Hamster Wheel in order to make time to blog again.

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Lunch with Lindsay: Schools During a Pandemic and Allyship During a Movement

In case you are wondering where I have been for the past two weeks, I have been active. I might not have been active on this website, but I have been active. Like many of you, I have been dedicating my time to my day job, exercise that is never frequent enough, napping, and honestly doing “nothing.”

When I say “nothing,” I really mean resting; times are tough, and we all need to practice self-care. If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I am no stranger to talking about this topic and recently covered the importance of it in Lunch with Lindsay: Supporting Black Lives Matter and Practicing Self-Care.

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What Is Your Guiding Light?

Photo from Flickr

On and off since my breast cancer diagnosis, I have not been sleeping well. When I went on leave to focus on my recovery from surgery, I had more time to focus on making sleep and other basic self-care habits a priority.

After my leave ended, I started radiation and returned to work within a day of each other. Again I had to learn new sleeping patterns as my daily schedule had drastically changed within only a couple days.

Then my radiation ended, and I had to readjust my daily work schedule and relearn new sleeping patterns. It is as if my body does not know how much to rest because it does not know what to expect.

My body sure was jolted by recent stories of Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and most recently Rayshard Brooks.

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Lunch with Lindsay: Supporting Black Lives Matter and Practicing Self-Care

Is it just me, or did last week feel pretty long?

Actually, if you are like many people in my social circles who have been heavily engaged in the active work of racial justice, the last few decades have felt extremely long.

I both am encouraged to see more people fighting for racial justice—especially Black lives—in ways I have not seen in my lifetime, and I also am frustrated that this journey to progress is both so long and mentally and emotionally taxing for those involved. This is why when I saw the NPR Code Switch piece titled A Decade of Watching Black People Die, I thought to myself, “A decade? JUST a decade?” I decided not to listen to it.

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When Looking Out for Ourselves Isn’t Enough

The other day, I tried to find an old post of mine on Facebook in which I mentioned MLK. I didn’t find what I was seeking, but I found another instead. Strangely enough, this post does not mention Martin Luther King, Jr., MLK, or any variation of his name, but the powers of Facebook pulled it up for me anyway. This is a post from November 10, 2016.

Move On Up #2

Move On Up #2: Photo from Flickr

The post received 24 likes and five loves, 11 comments, and one share.

In one of the comments, my friend wrote, “This is worthy of a Medium post.”

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When the Caring Person Needs Care

More than a month and a half after I received my breast cancer diagnosis, I attended a support group for women who had all types of cancer. During the latter part of the session, a breast cancer survivor introduced herself and wanted to find out what brought me to the group. After learning that I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer, she gave me her contact information and offered to talk to me further about resources.

Within a few days, I emailed her, and we were able to talk on the phone a day later. She shared her story with me, outlined the challenges she faced, and provided advice for my next steps.

“Get a Keurig, ” she told me. I almost told her that I was a tea drinker, but I was intrigued by her specific recommendation. I asked her why she suggested a Keurig. Then she explained that people could serve themselves when they visited me. I wouldn’t have to worry about serving them.

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Photo from Flickr

Something about her recommendation sat with me in a funny way. I couldn’t put my finger on why. Then it occurred to me how much she had thought about serving other people when she had been the one in dire need during her recovery.

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To Manage My Tone or Not

If you’ve ever known someone with a serious health issue, chances are that person lied to you at some point. It might not have been a major lie, but they might have sugarcoated their feelings in one conversation or another.

Since I shared my diagnosis with in my social circles, people have connected me to their friend, family member, colleague, or other contact who has dealt with breast cancer. When I talk to the connectors, they emphasize how strong, resilient, and inspiring their contacts are.

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Photo from Flickr

Then I talk to their contacts, and I realize how much those contacts have lied or sugarcoated the truth for others in their lives.

I’m not here to do that.

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