Saturday, January 14, 2012


Anyone who owns a MacIntosh computer - and a good percentage of those who don't - knows that Apple calls all of its products "i-Something."

There's iPod, iPhone, iPhoto, even iMovie.  In fact, the last two are part of a suite of programs called iLife.  And that kind of gets me to thinking.  

I wonder if very many people HAVE an i-Life.  I know lots of people, including me, who have a u-life.  (in other words, a "you-life") - where the focus is always and ever upon everybody else except ourselves.  We give and give and give to others, never anything but the dregs left for ourselves ... and then we wonder why we're so burnt out, stressed, and exhausted all the time.

Perhaps if each of us had a little more of an i-Life (that is, a me-life, a relationship with ourselves, also called self-care) then there would be more energy left over for the u-Life we all believe we should be leading.  Or perhaps that we were taught that we should be leading this u-Life, and if we weren't leading it to the exclusion of ourselves, then we were selfish, spoiled brats.  Hm. 

An i-Life can start in many ways.  

It can begin with taking some time to look after ourselves in a very minor way.  Like a habit which we know is good for us, but which we can never find time to do.  Or like taking 30 minutes as soon as we get home from work / school / wherever and listening to some uplifting music... whatever touches that aching part inside of us that needs affirmation.  

It doesn't have to be complicated - or expensive.  When my kids were elementary school-aged, we didn't have much money to go around.  So our "outing" was to go to the Humane Society shelter and visit the animals for an hour a week, sometimes even more often than that.  We love animals and we took great pleasure in brightening some of the kennel-bound animals' moments while they were awaiting adoption.  

Another thing we used to do in the summer was drive to a local city park which is by the harbor, park the car and watch the sailboats go by and the waves come into the shore.  We'd go for a walk in the park, stop by the playground, wade in the wading area - and once in a while we'd stop for ice cream...not every time, of course.  The whole trip might cost us about seven bucks max.  Yet we would return home energized.  

One of the first things I started doing when God brought me to my own personal "rock bottom" nearly 3 years ago, was to spend a little extra time in the day brushing my teeth.  It sounds odd, but that one five-minute habit gave me the message that I was worth spending time on... and I so needed that message. It was the beginning of my i-Life.

Am I touching anyone's i-Life today?

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