So I gave myself a day of rest.
I consciously said “no” to attending to the computer work that’s piling up, the dishes, grocery shopping, physical therapy exercises, and all the other shoulds I create for myself.
And I had a blissful day.
I was slow in the morning, alone in our condo, putzing around and not getting much done.
I did my meditation practice.
I went for a hike.
I met a friend for lunch.
I picked up the kiddos from school and came back to our co-housing community and enjoyed the afternoon sun with neighbors as they played.
I thought to myself, “Now I am happy. I need more time for me! I need time to be slow, and do the things I want to do, to be alone, and enjoy nature.”
But that evening, as it came time for doing laundry, making dinner, cleaning up after dinner, preparing lunches, the hours of work I still had to complete, and my husband making tracks for rehearsal just as my work begins and it’s bedtime for the kiddo….I was back to feeling resentful. I felt overwhelmed. I felt irritated.
But I had had this blissful day! What happened to my soothed soul and easy mind?
Here’s the thing. They are only available when I’m present in the moment. When I choose to enjoy the moment. If I am tired of stressed or wanting to be somewhere else doing something else, EVERYTHING feels irritating.
Dishes could be enjoyable if I wasn’t racing through them to get the next thing done. Making lunches could be an act of love if I wasn’t in such a hurry to finish the bothersome task. This day showed me that no matter what I’m doing, it’s my choice what I make of it. Yes, doubtlessly- hiking and putzing are more fun than washing and drying. But it’s my viewpoint that truly affects how I feel.
Invitation: What are the chores, errands and shoulds of your life? Can you reframe them so that instead of resenting, avoiding and rushing through them, they become an act of presence? Maybe even of love? See if any day can be a day of rest, depending on how you live it.