There are things that I love -- family, Jesus, nature, flowers, and as you already know, birds.
I'm a birder. As a young child my grandmother introduced me to the wonder and delight of birds. I started young as a seer and lover of the little feathered creatures. As an adult, I don't very often "go birding." Rather, I feed and attract to my home and watch from my chair or my kitchen window. I bird while I drive and try to name that creature on the electrical pole as I speed past.
There are big-deal, serious birders in Colorado who are constantly monitoring the skies, waters and trees of the state. In fact, Colorado has a bird alert website that tells you when something special is sighted. Like a flash flood warning or thunderstorm alert, these notices come to those who care to know.
Rarely do I let myself chase a bird. To leave family and responsibility to chase down a bird feels selfish, silly, a waste of time. Self talk is powerful, to be sure. "More important things" are left undone if I drop the urgent, grab my binoculars and bird ID book, a hat, a bottle of water and head for the bird.
A friend who lives on the East coast gets the bird alerts for Colorado. When she texted me that there had been nearby sightings of hummingbirds not often seen in Colorado, this morning I let myself throw responsibility and to-do list to the wind and went to see the hummers!
Feeling a little guilty now; I had some important work to do this morning that didn't get done. But guilt aside, this was important self-care for me today. Unscheduled and spontaneous, I let myself say yes to something that gives me great joy. I'm glad I did.
I didn't see the rare-for-Colorado Calliope Hummingbird afterall. But the morning was well spent, my heart is full, and I am thankful. Soul-care and self-care.
What do you love that you don't let yourself engage? Consider giving yourself permission to say yes to what nourishes you. You'll be glad you did.