I have a confession: I spent the entire weekend in bed.
Did I have a stomach upset? No.
The flu perhaps? No.
Was I grieving the loss of something intrinsically important to me? No.
I was Resting.
I say resting with a capital ‘R’ because sometimes I think we neglect to remember just how important resting is. By being ‘in bed’ I don’t actually mean under the covers sleeping (I’m pretty good at sleeping but not that good). I was lying in late, getting up for sustenance and hygiene (the hindrance of being human at times!) and then returning to lounge further; reading and writing, planning in my journal, daydreaming, napping, catching up on a few of my favourite vloggers and discovering some interesting new blogs to read. I read the entire Sunday newspaper from start to finish including all the lift outs.
It was positively Blissful.
It had been a hectic two weeks spent running around after my 15-year-old daughter who has a condition. Last week she had an appointment – Every. Single. Day. Whilst the logistics of this are challenging to fit into any given day, I have become quite accomplished at the art of getting from A to B to C in speedy time. What was so exhausting was the emotional strain I was under. I had been holding everything together for others and letting my self-care wilt away, much like the unwatered pot plant in the kitchen. Ahh, Monstera Tragicosa, what will become of you?
I don’t know what it is about resting that elicits a feeling of guilt for me. I had one such moment on the second day of the Rest-In, deep into my second leg of old school Sunday newspaper reading when my older daughter came in to ask me something. I jolted with surprise and quickly positioned a textbook near me so it had looked like I had been studying all along. What on earth was that all about?!
Am I worried about letting the values of hard work and effort I have tried so hard to instill in my daughters slide? Maybe.
Will she think I am lazy? Maybe.
Will she become lazy herself? Probably not.
Will that reflect back on me as a parent? Who knows.
What is it about taking time out for yourself that makes it seem so… sneaky, so forbidden?
I started to reflect that perhaps I should be looking at it from another angle. Taking time out for self-care, rejuvenation and replenishment of one’s mind, body and spirit are crucial for wellbeing. This is exactly what I would want for her! Heading into her final year of high school I absolutely want her to have strategies and a feeling of encouragement to take time out if she needs to. Western culture has become so deeply embedded with a kind of ‘busyness glorification’ that it feels so taboo when one goes against it. To purposely knock back offers of socializing and outings in favour of staying in to process the excessive amounts of stimuli we are exposed every single day.
We all need replenishment. This is part of being human. Feeling guilty should never even come into the equation.
When my daughters were in primary school one of their teachers created a space in the corner of the classroom, shielded away from the tables and chairs. She called this the ‘Chill-ax Space’ and kids could go there to zone out, chill, and just generally process stuff. I love the concept of having a designated space solely for ‘chill-axing’ and carry that memory with me now when life is overloading my plate.
I’m off to water my Monstera..