On Self-Care & Being Social (December Reading List)

This week I’ve been tossing around the concept of ‘work-life’ balance as it’s been a buzzword not only for my own writing, but all over social media. I’ve been intrigued by what that phrase actually means, and if it’s even possible in such a crazy busy world.

On one hand, learning to rest is good. On the other, though, if you truly want to be successful, sometimes you have to kick your own butt. Work-life balance, self-care, and feminism are a few of the topics on this week’s reading list. And, as always, you can read past weeks right here.

1. First, this article (from a male perspective) on how we can change culture + accountability for men.

in a podcast episode a few weeks ago, me and my co-star, Abraham Lopez addressed it and what we thought it meant, especially in today’s context. I came across this powerful Medium article and I really like how this male writer talked about this. Perhaps when we can change the way the term is attributed we’ll find even more of a connection between men and women.

“A term like toxic masculinity, even if we sense some truth in it, doesn’t invite us to distinguish between ourselves as individuals and the culture we are caught up in. Which is why I always prefer to talk about culture, shifting the focus to where powerful generative change is possible while potentially reducing reactivity. And it’s a conversation that works.”

What I like about this article is that it acknowledges the valid emotions men may be feeling without it being about them. Instead the author provides legitimate ways to work on moving forward, rather than pointing fingers or acting like victims.

2. And as a powerful ‘response’ to that piece, here is an article that really explains why (IMO) women feel the way they do in the first place.

“Decent male humans, this is not your fault, but it also does not have nothing to do with you. If a woman is frosty or standoffish or doesn’t laugh at your joke, consider the notion that maybe she is not an uptight, humorless bitch, but rather has had experiences that are outside your realm of understanding, and have adversely colored her perception of the world.”

I’ve been having more and more conversations about why women feel this way (with the men I love). And this, though not a ‘justification’ for being angry at all men (because not all men are to blame), is the reasoning behind female outrage. It’s important for people (men) to read this and understand where we’re coming from. Again, it’s not all men, but the accountability needs to be there regardless.

3. Something else I connected with was this article on hypocritical Christianity.

“So if you believe whatever you want, your utmost focus is on yourself, and you can’t explain what your faith teaches, is it any wonder why Christians in America kinda suck?”

This is such a great article. I love how it calls people out on their biased beliefs, and make us question what it really means to be a Christian today.

4. I also love this sweet, simple story about being in nature.

What I loved is the way the author described the snow so visually and beautifully. For example, he talked about the tracks in snow as (according to Ernest Thompson Seton) ‘the oldest known writing on earth.’ I also love the ending lines which capture the simplicity of this life we’re living: “It was a good day. As a friend said recently, ‘All days are good—some are just better than others.'” So pure, so right.

5. Another great read was this piece on the work-life balance, or rather, how that’s not actually a real thing.

The author changes the norm by arguing that a true work-life balance is not actually real or even achievable. What we are actually looking for, he says, is the ability to be present in all aspects of our lives: work and personal.

“Rather than balance, what I believe we really want is the ability to be truly present in our work and in our lives outside work. We are seeking meaningful, uninterrupted, ‘all in’ experiences at each end of the work/life spectrum, which will naturally cycle at different times. There often won’t be balance within a week or a day and hours aren’t the determinant of quality.”

6. And finally, this refreshing article on self-care when you enjoy both your solo time, and your social time.

So much of self-care these days has been about focusing on you, staying in, taking baths, etc. While there’s nothing wrong with being a homebody, as someone who gets energy both from time alone AND with people, I’ve never really known where I ‘fit.’

This article is a refreshing read on the topic, reminding us that it’s okay (and good) to be both around people as well as alone.
 

Featured Image Credit: Harold