My New Year’s resolution for 2010 was to be a lover to myself. It’s a twist on the Golden Rule (treat myself as I treat others), borne out of a deepening understanding that I tend to put myself last: somewhere behind work, friends, family, chores, the Internet, my students, and the occasional beau.

This year, I have been committed to changing that. As I envisioned my new home, I keep asking myself, “What would it take to feel like I’ve come home to myself? What are the moments when I feel most nourished and self-resourced?”

Now that August is drawing to a close, it’s time for an assessment: How am I doing? After a busy summer of traveling, am I remembering to take time to care for myself?

I’ve found that when I slow down, pay attention, and listen to the simple, quiet answers to those questions, I’m surprised. Small things are the most nourishing: making myself a salad with local greens, watering my plants, laughing (sometimes seeking out Kathy Griffin and Chris Rock stand-up on YouTube to get me there), listening to my eight-month-old nephew babble on the phone, turning off the television, and, dare I say it, working in my yard.

Loving myself during hectic times is hard. But, day by day, and month by month this year, I am learning that all those clichés are true: it really does have to start with me.

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