Monday, 8 March 2021

Fully rested, at last

"You're back to being the woman I know and love," he told me yesterday. 
We were sitting in the kitchen, and I was still. I wasn't tidying, cleaning, sorting, cooking, making a list, or even petting a dog. I was simply sitting there, sipping my wine, and being fully present. 
"It's been a while since I've seen you so relaxed," he said, clinking his glass to mine. "I'm glad you're back."

So am I. 

Being still is one of my biggest challenges. My mind is always whirring, my feet are always moving, and I always have "bees in my butt", which is the charming German expression that we use for someone who can't sit still (= me).
But even busy-bodies like me (or maybe especially people like me) need times off, and this one was long overdue. After a string of bad news at work, my Covid-scare, and the general exhaustion that we all share, I really needed a break. 

So I embarked on a one-week-early-spring-vacation, which is ending tonight, and guys - it was heavenly. It was healing, restorative, relaxing - but it was much more than that. I needed that break in a very real way. My mental health had been deteriorating for a few months, and while I gave it all the short-term cures I know - stories, walks, dogs, nature, sleep, my love - it needed a break. Simple as that. 
My body finally started to break down to wake me up, which is a solid it does me once or twice a year when I'm too stubborn or too stupid to realize that I need to peace out. 
Thanks, body. 

My week off was so simple, but so delicious. I enjoyed every minute of it. 
(Also, it was no different from what it would have been without the pandemic. My life is very pandemic-friendly.)
I had a long, leisurely coffee hour every morning with the dogs. 
I cooked breakfast. 
Lily and I went for a walk/hike. 
I cleaned our house, removed every last memory of the puppies (=shit) from our deck, did some redecorating (see the top picture? I added a reading nook to my bedroom!), and rearranged the furniture in the living room.

I read. Rich and I watched Behind Her Eyes together. We hung out together in our friend's man cave one night. 
I cooked every night. 
I finally ordered and then hung our favourite photo of him and his late mom on our gallery wall. 

We tied up a bunch of those loose threads that we all have in our lives, and that some may live easily with, but that drive me crazy: closing the old business account he hasn't used in years. Getting my long overdue oil-change done. Return all phone calls and emails that we had been avoiding. Throw out some old shit. Clean. Unpack boxes we hadn't looked at in 4 years. 

It was a-MAZING. Totally medicinal. And 100% necessary. 

Almost everybody I know is exhausted, fed up, sad, angry, empty, or close to burnout.
And I know that we can't get the vacation we dream off: the ultimate get-away off jetting off into the sunset and frolicking on a beach for a few days to leave it all behind. 

But we can get the much-needed break and refill of our empty batteries right here, at home. 

How?
By thinking back on all the things we love about being on vacation, and applying them to our current situation! 

Sleeping in? Check. 
Leisurely breakfast? Check. 
Mimosas at breakfast? Why not?
Getting some hikes/swimming/exploring in? I don't know about you, but I live in an area where people go for their vacation, and I know for a fact that I haven't seen even 10% of all the sights yet. I could be a tourist in my own backyard for at least 5 vacations in a row before I've even scratched the surface. 
Sleep in the afternoon? Hell yes!
Get day-drunk? Don't mind if I do.
Get a mani-pedi? I did it myself this afternoon, which is not the same as being pampered, but my colourful (if smudged - I'm not an accomplished nail polisher) nails still make me happy. 

I've been making goals to "not work so much" for years now, disregarding them year after year, caving to the pressure of society and the old demons of my childhood that whisper in my ear that I'm only worthy if I work hard. 

This week was a revelation. I enjoyed my home, where I live, and who I live with so much. I always appreciate them, but this week showed me anew how much enjoyment I get out if it - and them.

I don't need time away from it all. I need more time with it. 
So, once again, I make a promise to myself: to spend less time doing and more time being. 

Here's to more restorative and fun staycation weeks this year!


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2 comments

  1. What a lovely place to be in, Miriam! Physically and mentally. May your heart rest in this peace forever.

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    Replies
    1. I'm extending it by taking mini-breaks every day, even on the busiest days (*especially* on the busiest days). So far it's working! :-)

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