Rest-Cation

9 Apr

I once read a novel where the protagonist described her bed as her lover. Actually, she was having a menage-a-tois with her mattress and pillows. I can relate. Lately I’ve been having these 8-9 hour sleeps that leave me feeling literally giddy and hung over in the morning. I am sleeping as hard as a toddler and need a good hour or so to wake up in the morning.

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Over the last few years the more I travel for work, the more I’m finding myself taking time off at home instead of going on vacation somewhere. I used to call this a stay-cation where I’d actively get out and enjoy some of San Diego’s sights. I’d make sure to surf and hike. Go to a museum and see a few movies. Now however, I’m having a rest-cation because I don’t the energy or the desire to navigate the car to the beach or to battle the crowds at the zoo. So I am thinking about the ocean in my mind instead.

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The reality is I rarely truly rest. Sure, I am at home but I’m writing a book and seeing clients and auditing two classes. There are groceries to buy and cats to feed and poop to scoop. Presentations to prepare and lines to memorize. I am however allowing myself to indulge in slowing down. Down-shifting from fourth to first, taking a pause and coming up for air.

This is what summer used to be for. I remember what it was like to be a kid and have unstructured time. At my grandparents’ home in Wisconsin, I’d wake up, sit with my grandparents over breakfast and then go read Nancy Drew books. Eventually, I’d have to make the bed and get dressed as the big action for the day would be to accompany my grandmother on her errands and to the grocery store.

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I’d also rinse out the bird baths and do cart wheels on the lawn. And I never ever got bored.

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Unstructured time is really important and few of us have it anymore. It is necessary for health and vital for the soul. Some of my best creativity has come from periods of letting the field lie fallow and I have learned over time that if you expect the goose to lay multiple golden eggs daily, eventually she won’t lay any at all.

So yes, for a bit I’m watching the news each night and an hour of the Big Bang Theory. I’m reading books and staring at the ceiling while the mini-lions sit at my side purring. Because without a doubt, this is a temporary luxury and the pace will soon quicken. What do you do for rest? And what signals you that your soul is weary? How do you discipline yourself to unplug and rest?

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