I feel rested today. I know it’s not earth-shattering. But there it is. I’m not sure of the statistics on how often I can say that, but I have a feeling they wouldn’t be in my favor in recent months. I stayed up until almost 1am last night and even then, deep sleep eluded me. Granted, I took a nap yesterday afternoon, but the day was also fairly busy with activities alongside my kids and with being out in the heat. This peculiar and unexpected sensation has me thinking a little more carefully about the nature of rest.
I’m beginning to realize that rest is more of a state of mind than a scheduling thing. Can I be rested even with little sleep — rested in spirit at least? As I pay attention to myself, I’m noticing respite comes from mindset more than anything else.
Last week was an emotional one. It included some extra time with my children outside of our normal routine. It was no well-planned vacation, just some days at my parents’ home enjoying focused time with them and three four-foot kiddie pools. These makings of big fun, were made possible, in part, by my decision to say “yes” to them as often as humanly possible.
Last week I was also tip-toeing on the edge of a little stress produced by saying “yes” to the kids and “no” to work so often at a time when my project schedule is, thankfully, busy. But, even that toe dance was paired with the grateful realization that owning my own business has given me the freedom to take that time away with the children — to choose to focus on them for a few days. Just because.
The week also included sorrow at the passing of my grandmother. It was bittersweet in seeing her life celebrated, and recognizing that her battle with Alzheimer’s meant much of the grieving of her loss had already occurred in these last years.
The emotional ride culminated on Friday with having to make the decision to have my sweet beagle, Jingle Belle, put down because of health issues — a sorrow at losing her and at having to make the hard financial and humane choices so often accompanying a 9-year-old pet.
And then there’s tee ball — in 96 degree Mississippi heat. Little Drummer Boy’s last game was on Friday night. I was so proud of him. And tired of the pace of scheduled games, and looking forward to Bug’s turn, and appreciative of LDB’s first little trophy, and sweating, and impatient. A tell-tale end to a topsy-turvy week. But, when I think about it, the week wasn’t really all that unusual. It was a week filled with real life. Just life and all it’s ups and downs, joys and sorrows — the stuff that wrings us out. Daily.
So, at first glance, my feeling rested today is inexplicable. Except for this…
On Friday evening I told myself and everyone in the house who would listen, “I need some down time to regroup. And that’s what I’m doing this weekend.”
And I did. In all those ways that help my own spirit feel a little more in control. The unique ways that replenish my own soul or help me really see the enchantment of life around me (or at least help me see the countertops around me.) I played with the kids. I sorted through things in my closet. I cleaned my sink. I took my time getting groceries. I slept late. I took a nap. I read extra bedtime stories. I laughed at being splashed. I told myself that it’s ok to do what I need for me. Because three little hearts are counting on that me.
Yep, that last part was the hardest. And the most important. And the thing that made the difference. You see, I want those three gifts to have the best me possible, not the haggard, impatient and bothered me. I want them to have the me at rest.
Sometimes being rested is a mindset. Sometimes it is about more than getting sleep. Sometimes it’s about giving myself permission to stop. Permission to be my own boss. To be governed by what I know my heart needs.