So I gave myself a day of rest

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.

No longer a girl, now a woman.

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It snuck up on me.
I wasn’t expecting it.

Suddenly I am closer to 40 than 30. And I realized that I now refer to myself as a woman, and not a girl.
I still have a inclination for potty humor, and my goofiness and irreverence are some of my favorite qualities. But now as I am shepherding women in the 20’s and early 30’s through this journey of life, I realize where I am now, and where I was then.

I have a sense of relaxation in myself I never thought I’d have. I see my blind spots, my flaws, my faults, and the many qualities I have judged for so long. The qualities I thought needed to be remedied and changed. And some of them do- but many are simply who I am for now. And it will change again and again as the aging continues. And that feels good. It feels like something I can let that judgmental voice in my head surrender into.

At a very temporal level; a friend was talking about doing their taxes, and I was remembering that I used to dread when my father would stop doing them for me. And then I got married and now my husband does them for me. Should I do them myself? Sure. Could I? Sure. But doing taxes is not my strong point, it’s simply who I am this time around. That kind of realization used to bring shame, a “what’s wrong with me?” sensation. Now, I think who cares? We gots what we gots.

And that relaxation, that surrender, that grace, makes me feel like someone I can call a woman.