type of volunteering will be a part of my soul care. Those who
face a few extra hours when they experience a job or career
shift, as children head to school, or as they approach an empty
nest are afforded new opportunities to discover what it is that
gives life and contentment. It will look different for each of us.
Early one morning, I trekked to one of my least
favorite bi-yearly events: a dental check up. I had the same
dental hygienist for the first twenty-four years that I lived in
this city. She worked in this one office for over forty-seven
years and has known no other lifestyle in her adult life. This
was our last scheduled interaction as she was set to retire at the
end of the year. She became teary as we communicated around
this topic, and my words to her were, “I hope that you discover
what you love to do outside of these walls.” After these words
left my mouth, I realized something very important. With a
great deal of intention and hard work, the former walls that
contained me had fallen apart. I had truly discovered that
which fills my soul.
As I made way for self-care and created space to
discover my passions, I also became better able to tolerate my
accountability in problematic family interactions. I have slowly
but surely taken responsibility for my role in our particular
family dynamics. There aren’t many parenting paradigms that
emphasize behavioral changes required of the grown ups in a
family. Most of them are focused on changing the behavior of
the child. Self-care gave me the capacity to grow and change.
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