Happy BirthSelfCareDay to Me

img_3570Today I turn 51. That means I am no longer 50. I am in my fifities, which is like being in debt; there’s no getting out of it.

My eyebrow hairs stayed a uniform length for the better part of five decades and suddenly they have ambition.

I need to keep my feet warm and bundled all the time around the house. The other day I caught myself shuffling. Shuffling! It’s a slipper-y slope.

Clearly, getting older is not good for my self-esteem, and if there’s anything I’ve learned from raising children it’s that self-esteem is more important than grammar, math and moving out of your parents’ house.

That’s why I’ve decided I need to indulge in some self-care.

Self-care is a relatively new concept. It’s what we used to call “self-indulgence,” except now it’s smoothies instead of Oreos, yoga instead of whiskey and adult colouring books instead of adult videos.

In the wake of a great shock, self-care allows people to focus on their own needs. For example, self-care can help someone recover from Donald Trump, who, ironically, was elected by people focused on their own needs.

Self-care is different from self-help. Self-help is a means of changing yourself. Self-care, on the other hand, is a means of making sure change can’t find you cowering under a blanket.

As in an airplane emergency, wherein you should place the oxygen mask on yourself before attempting to place it on your child, so too in self-care you should avoid airplanes at all cost because those things are deathtraps.

Self-care is the selfie of the soul (hashtag mental health, hashtag inspire, hashtag hashbrowns).

But if ever there was a trend I can get behind, it’s one that’s all about putting me first. If they come up with everyone-agree-with-me-care, I’ll get on board with that too.

So today, as I turn 51, one card short of a full deck and surrounded by jokers, here is my self-care plan that will, I can assure you, involve cake.

I begin my day with a long soak in a bath filled with orgacha berries, renowned for their soothing qualities and scent of quality hotel rooms, as well as eucalyptus treacle and hand-husked quinoa, which offer the kind of powerful exfoliating properties you don’t want to turn your back on.

After I have unclogged the bathtub drain and picked the quinoa husks out of my beard, I dress myself in a traditional loose-fitting garment known in French Colonial Africa as “les pantalons froufrou.” This is followed by 15 minutes of meditation, during which no one is allowed to use the toaster. It’s complicated, but it’s my self-care, so no questions asked.

Happy 51st birthday, Shirley Henderson!

Happy 51st birthday, Shirley Henderson!

Meditation, incidentally, is very important for self-care because it quiets the mind. If ever our society’s vast problems are to be solved, it will be through not thinking. I, for one, will not be thinking about turning 51 and the fact that I was born the same day as Scottish actress Shirley Henderson, best known for her role as Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter films. I will, however, be moaning.

Many people swear by the need to properly hydrate as part of their self-care regimen. Hydrating is the same as drinking water except two gallons a day and never from the tap. I, personally, choose not to indulge in hydrating because I am a 51-year-old male whose imminent hobbies include knowing where all the public restrooms are.

Even though it’s my birthday, I don’t want people making a fuss over me. No singing. It’s embarrassing, and embarrassment is positively negative. My self-care vis-à-vis my birthday is for everyone to be aware of my birthday but not actually mention it. Simply thinking of me constantly will do, preferably with great fondness, verging on reverence. There is no need for actual eye contact. Only cake.

In fact, if people could simply drop off their gifts (cakes) without bothering me, that would be great. This is a self-care day, after all, and it’s unreasonable to expect me to care about other people too.

Of course, self-care does involve eating right. Again: cake, obviously. But also a diet rich in vegetables, fibre, nuts, artisanal fling beans, wolf-milk cheeses, Cornish hackberries, avian phlegm curd, Burundi lizard tarts, itemized kale fragments and – it goes without saying – gluten substitute.

At last, as I rub the emollient-rich shoe polish into my skin, I end my self-care day with a self-affirmation. I tell myself I’m good, I’m strong and I have a full half-century of wisdom to draw on, not counting those first three years when I peed my pants.

And finally, I let everyone know about my self-care journey, because if you don’t tweet it, it never happened (hashtag blessed).

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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40 Responses to Happy BirthSelfCareDay to Me

  1. franhunne4u says:

    “adult colouring books”
    You mean you have to colour your p*rn now yourself?

  2. Linda Wood says:

    blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } Happy Birthday

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  3. franhunne4u says:

    “a diet rich in vegetables, fibre, nuts”
    You know that chocolate beans ARE beans, BEANS are VEGETABLES – you should be good with a chocolate nut cake!

  4. Lynn Love says:

    What a wonderful idea – shunning the temptation to self-medicate with a wicked-strength ale from a tiny brewery in the distant hills (probably with a name such as Dingle-Nook or Flange) and tread the self-care route instead.
    I tried Burundi lizard tarts once. They made me produce something that resembled avian phlegm curd.
    A very Happy Birthday to you 🙂

  5. M. Oniker says:

    I’m being aware of your birthday, without actually saying so. I hope it is an excellent one.

    Thank you for this post. It was *exactly* what I needed to read this morning. I have also saved the url to pass along to a friend who has an interesting birthday number coming up in a few weeks, and who will need the wisdom found within your post.

  6. Karen says:

    Happy b-day. I suffered through a birthday myself last week, as well as a month-long countdown to the day courtesy my kids, who are still young enough to look forward to birthdays (all birthdays, not just their own) with excitement and anticipation. I tried to remember when that switch flipped: when did I stop being excited about my birthday and begin greeting that day as just another one I needed to get through in the calendar?

    Anyway, sounds like you’re taking care of yourself and, at your age, you need to. 😉

  7. mitchtoews says:

    “He wear no man bra
    He got shuffly slipper
    He got hashtag toe jam
    He shoot hipster water froma plastic bottle
    He wear pantaloon froufrou down-to-his-knee
    One thing I can tell you is pension-starts-at-six-TY”

    All the best from Abbey Road (just east of PTH 307 MB where the road is paved with Forest Tent Caterpillars). Just turned a sour 61 a few days ago. Stay grumpy, my friend.

  8. ksbeth says:

    and i have more numbers into the fifties than you do, but it is a fun decade, so happy bday to you and your self care and your brood and keep it going –

  9. List of X says:

    Congratulations,m and welcome to the Area 51, age-wise. I’ve never been but I heard it’s interesting.
    Until now, I was sure that “self-care” meant taking occasional showers and brushing teeth. I see I was mistaken, but your version sounds like much more effort, so I’ll stick with mine for now.

  10. Elyse says:

    It is a slipper-y slope indeed, Ross. Happy Birthday.

  11. dibabbage says:

    Haha, solidarity brother! 🙂

  12. Bill says:

    Based on my experience of having passed through this portal, it is not just your eyebrows that will become ambitious (although assuredly they will). You may also expect furry ears and hairs sprouting from other impossible-to-shave places. This is the time for our Neanderthal genes, which have been lurking quietly within us for decades, to make themselves boldly known. I choose to think it gives us a sort of dignity, in a caveman sense.

    Happy Birthday.

  13. Letizia says:

    I like that you are shuffling. I take this to mean that you are perpetually dancing. That’s a good way of moving through your fifties, if you ask me.

  14. pinklightsabre says:

    The shuffle is good, I see that. And what is with the adult colouring books? So funny. Mindfulness. It’s swinging back to the other strange end of the spectrum, the anti-distraction distraction. I do think about you this time of year because I always know you’re about to get older than I am in like a week. I turn 46 next week, for what it’s worth. Not much. Bill

  15. For REAL?! Congratulations! You’ll have to tic a different box when they ask you to identify your age category. You need to find a way to monetize self care. I see a trend.

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