I’ve talked about how I struggle with vulnerability. I also struggle with rest. Part of this is because I’m a naturally energetic and enthusiastic person. I like doing! Part of it is I internalize not doing with wasting time and taking up space. I do not heap this judgment on others; it’s a special judgment I keep for myself. Resting can mean sitting on the couch, but I’d better be Reading Important Works or Thinking Deep Thoughts. Funny, all the time I spend on the internet isn’t all that restful.

I’m very, very blessed/lucky/privileged that I get to live the life that I do. Almost all of my life is made up of things I enjoy doing: being with my kids, cooking for my family (yep, I really love doing that), taking care of my home, reading and writing, diving into my spiritual practices. It’s a great life.

But every so many weeks I get slammed with exhaustion. Part of it is because I’ve got a little nursling and a family to care for. Part of it is it’s been a damn busy year: new child (who arrived the day after I ‘got over’ the flu), big decisions about quitting my PhD program and where to move to when our visas expired, and then moving countries in two months. I have a lot of reasons to be tired. Part of it is because I am lousy at resting.

And so….. I am taking a little staycation. I’m going to take the next week and a bit off: husband is picking up the house and cooking slack, I’m going to back off of the blog and project and the internet in general. I’ve already started a fun, entirely non-serious novel.

My big struggle is not turning this period of rest into a Project all its own.

See you in a bit.

5 responses to “Rest

  1. Oh, Niki, I am SO with you on that one. I have such a problem resting, partly because I get BORED, and partly because I don’t know how to DO it. I am learning very slowly, after my illness, that resting is about not doing, but about being. Not thinking, just looking, no response or analysis needed. I am learning to walk up my hill with my dog, and to lean on the gate and just look at the valley below. Not think, not appreciate, nothing, just look and notice. It is SO hard to remind myself to do that sometimes! Enjoy your time off, read a pointless novel, do a crossword, look and enjoy your lovely family, just be your lovely self. much, much love. xxxx

    • Thank you, Elaine. I’m finding crankiness just oozing out of me right now. Clearly I’m detoxing something! Ok, closing this laptop and picking up my rad historical-romance-mystery! 🙂

  2. I’ve been doing more thinking about the link between vulnerability and difficulty in resting. I know for me it goes way back to being an eldest of 5 children and having a mother who was always too busy, so every time I tried to do something fun such as play my guitar, read, sing, I was told to “stop that and come and give me some help”. It means that sitting and doing nothing is actually quite emotionally loaded for me, and is in fact a time when I feel very vulnerable – guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, just keeping a look out for the criticism, all fill the space that should be restful and empty. And if I rest too much, I find myself sliding into deep depression…. Not good, and I have spent YEARS working on this issue. I didn’t detect crankiness in your post, just good old soul searching. Love and big, companionable hugs. xxxxx

    • Elaine, you have hit the nail on the head! I feel very much the same way when I try to rest: vulnerable. I feel like I am indulgent in the worst way. Resting is equated with selfishness, even though I know that’s silly, at a very deep level I am still combating that voice.

  3. As an antidote to this feeling of somehow being selfish and over-indulgent, I remind myself that we need to take care of ourselves first. Two things come to mind: I think it was St Thomas Aquinas who said something like: “generosity can only come from a modicum of plenty”, and I also use the metaphor of the safety talk before take-off on the plane – as the hostess shows everyone how to put on the yellow oxygen mask, she always tells those travelling with small children to put their own mask on before helping the children. The children won’t survive without the adult, so we adults need to take responsibility for ourselves before we can be of use to others. You are one of the most unselfish people I know, you love and enjoy your children, you are one amazing woman, so give to yourself generously so you can continue to be generous to others (and of course I need to practise what i preach!). Much, much love.

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