On January 1, 2020, I crashed. Well, “crashed” is a rather dramatic word. I laid down. I rested. I surrendered.

Many of us had a terrifically emotional holiday season. For me, it started the day after Thanksgiving. Grief came in with the Christmas carols and set up a cot in my heart. With each “Herald Angel,” Grief jolted a fountain of uncontrollable tears, rattling my heart like a caged animal, wracking my body with sobs. It was terrible. I thought I was going crazy. After two weeks, it decreased, and I cheerfully set up the tree and the lights and sent gifts to everyone on the eastern seaboard.

Off we went to visit the in-laws, all seemed to be well. However, Grief was still camped out, just biding its time until it could shake rattle and roll, which it did.

Eventually, though, it all passed, and it was December 27. I Marie Kondo-ed my closet and cabinets. We had a party on New Year’s Eve. I cooked and performed my hostess duties flawlessly.

Then the crash.

All of the Grief, the joy, the preparation, gratitude, appreciation, cleaning, traveling, visiting, exercising, seeking, all of it, took its toll. I laid on the couch for an entire day, alternately napping and watching a sweet series on Netflix. A part of me, the perfection-seeking part of me, asked, “How could I have found ways to rest along the way?” What I was genuinely asking was, “How could I have found a more efficient way to rest?” Writing this on the page makes me giggle.

Rest is not efficient. It is necessary and takes as much time as it takes. Asking how I can be more efficient with my rest feeds into the concept that we are only as valuable as our productivity.

This is a big fat lie perpetrated by our performance-based society. We are valuable not because we do stuff but because we are human beings. Human beings, not do-ings.It was perfectly fine that I spent the day on the couch.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Give yourself permission
    • Rest when you need it. I’m not advocating sloth, just awareness, and rest.
  • Take what you need.
    • Listen to what your body is telling you. If you’re dragging your ass from one activity to the next, then you’re tired. Rest already!
  • Let go of judgment
    • Regardless of if it’s self-judgment or judgment from others. Let. It. Go. You do you. Only you know what you need. And if you don’t know, then stop, sit still and listen.

Just for today
I’ll listen to my Higher Power and rest when needed. I’ll observe a Sabbath or a conscious rest, and I’ll remember that rest is imperative to have a balanced life.

Even you took a day off, help me to remember that I am NOT bigger than you. You are the Higher Power. Ease my mind when it starts to race that I should be doing something and remind me that doing nothing is doing something.

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