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These are some of the dilemmas that play out in my head. I’m certain we’ve all been faced with similar scenarios during Covid-19. The fears, and added stresses of the times having us act in ways we don’t always act and it’s not always easy to choose "Self-Care"over "Self-Loathing".
I, myself, will admit that I am guilty of choosing self-loathing over the self-care option way too many times. But when I decided to start making a conscious effort and put ME and my best interests first, the choice was clear; get off your ass Steve, put in the extra hours at work, and no you don't need another Nutella-filled baklava from Serano Cafe (even though they taste like heaven).
Growing up in a Greek home, I was guilted into almost everything. If you’re Greek, you can most probably relate. I believe that’s where not always doing what’s best for me all began. It took me years and a few sessions with my life coach to finally stop being guilted into always doing things for others first and myself last. I have finally learned to say the world’s most powerful word "NO" and since then, not only do I feel better about myself, I am more respected.
DK I know you can relate.
Choosing what’s best for me in the long run over momentary self indulgence has helped with some positive transformations. If you find yourself, always putting yourself second, try this, slowly, one step at a time. There is no magic time or age as it’s never too late to start or to restart after we’ve fallen off the wagon, so to speak. Any phase of life is the right time.
The results will surprise you, they certainly surprised me! 100 tiny positive decisions add up to big change! 100-calorie decisions have transformed me into 25 pounds lighter. I feel and look years younger, or so I think.
Sharing my stories with you is why I started this blog. It’s the same reason I love wine so much; it has a lot to do with storytelling. I love drinking wine but I equally love that there is a story to be told in every bottle. I love to tell a good story AND listen to one as well. Normally when we enjoy a bottle of wine we like the taste or better yet how we feel after a glass or two. But through my many years of tasting wines with winemakers, I have learned to listen to the wine and what story it tells.
Some weeks ago, I opened a bottle of Estate Argyros Santorini Assyrtiko for some friends. From the first sip everyone was in awe with the wine and started asking questions. I started sharing stories about Santorini island and how the grapes grow as well as how amazing the team at Argyros Estate is. Before we knew it the bottle was empty. One of my friends asked if I could do that again. I said yes of course, but this time, let’s try it with a red wine. We opened a bottle of Domain Mega Spileo Red Blend and from the very first sip everyone's reaction was the same. Who makes it and what grapes are in here? This is so different from the first bottle. Off I went and shared with everyone the story about Mega Spileo Winery and how rare the two grape varieties are in the bottle. Dry Mavrodaphne & Mavrokalavritino. Add in the wine making talents of Stelios Tsiris and we had another winner.
Neither one of the above mentions are intended to have you run around looking for these wines. What I do hope is that it encourages you to open up a dialogue about the wines you enjoy with friends.
I digress. Now back to self-care.
What I know, and what I want to share with you, is that regardless of how little or how much improvement I have seen in myself in this last little while by trying to go the self care route, is that I feel like a better version of myself. Do I always go in the right direction? Of course, maybe, well no not really. But resilience and doing the right thing more often than not has helped me succeed on the road less traveled.
Life is like a moving target. The moment you think you’ve made all the sacrifices, did all the work, saved a little cash, the target moves/changes and we need to adjust our sail and chart a new path. By consistently improving ourselves, making the right choices over the wrong ones, we best prepare ourselves to the game that is constantly changing.
If isolation and Covid-19 have taught me something, it is to drop my fear of change and uncertainty and pivot myself and my business in a different direction. Personally and professional this has worked out for the better, so far. I hope to encourage you to try the same. And I certainly don’t have all the answers but I am here to listen if you’d like to share your thoughts, ideas or stories.