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Archive for the ‘Rest’ Category


The weekend away was exactly what I needed. I had been triggered on top of triggered for so long that I had just about forgotten what it felt like NOT to be triggered. I know that I used to live my life like that, but I don’t anymore, and being triggered is not my “natural state.” Sadly, when it keeps happening like that, it’s easy to fall back into that unhealthy place because being constantly triggered can seem “normal” again.

This trip away has driven home just how important it is for me to meet my own needs and take good care of myself. Getting some physical distance from my day-to-day life helped as did removing some of my responsibilities. However, I don’t think either is what grounded me. I did a lot more exercising (walking) and spending time at the beach, which has always been a grounding force. Instead of trying to get X, Y, and Z done, I read a book and chit-chatted with my sister for hours.

Not being triggered is my natural state just as being triggered used to be what felt “normal,” so I didn’t fully appreciate when I had moved from one back to the other. I noticed it in the little things, such as no longer needing to do different obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) actions to relieve my anxiety. (I no longer had a lot of anxiety to process.) I was also able to sleep each night without needing to take a Xanax.

When I return home, I need to figure out a way to get back to this level of balance. I like to work, but I also need to take time to self-nurture. The good news is that I do know what it is like to live a more balanced lifestyle as well as what tools I need to use to get there. I just need to do what works for me, and that is going to be easier with hub back at work and child in summer camp now that school has ended.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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As I shared here and here, I mutually ended a nine-year dysfunctional friendship in August of 2011. I wrote about missing the friend but not the friendship here. Grieving that loss has gotten easier. There are still aspects I miss, but it gets easier every day.

Over the weekend, I pinpointed what I miss the most. That friend and I would spend hours together every Saturday at her house sitting quietly and talking. There was no TV or radio blaring in the background, and our children would play in another room. Even if they got loud, the walls were thick enough that I was insulated from having to hear it.

I recognized this weekend that in losing that friendship, I have lost the sanctuary of time set aside every week for a quiet conversation with a friend. Most of my friends have boys (the ex-friend has a daughter) who are as rough and tumble as my own son is, so when we visit, there is typically a cacophony of noise in the background. I no longer have a set amount of time each week for quiet conversation where a friend and I are not DOing anything but, instead, just enjoying BEing together.

I don’t need to bring that friend back into my life to have this, but I do need to figure out a way to build quiet social time back into my life. I get this somewhat when I meet a girlfriend for lunch, but there is still the background noise and hustle and bustle of being out in public. I also don’t have a set time that I see a particular friend week after week other than my son’s playground, which falls under the “cacophony of noise” umbrella.

My New Year’s Resolution is to let go. I want to let go of having to “do” all of the time. This is a difficult one for me, especially being such a workaholic by nature, being married to a workaholic, and living in a country where workaholism is revered. Setting aside time to “be” is counter-culture in the United States, but it is something I desperately need.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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Today is the first day I have had to myself in weeks. My son was out of school for two weeks, my husband was home during the holidays, and my sister and nephews were in town for a week. Since everyone has returned to their regular lives, I have had work and Bible Study taking up my time. Today is the day I have set aside to recharge my batteries.

I have come to recognize that moderation is the key to just about everything in life. Too much or not enough of just about anything makes me feel out of balance. I am a social person, but I also need alone time. Alone time is scarce during the holidays when my house is bustling with people. While I sincerely enjoy spending time with the people I love, if I don’t get some alone time, I get really cranky.

Today is my day to do whatever I feel like doing. I might nap, watch a movie, play the piano, read, or go for a walk (or all of the above!). I might do yoga and meditation to help me find my center again. It’s been a long time since I have done either!

One thing I will not do is answer the phone. I will not meet a friend for lunch or hop on my email. I need time for myself – time to relax and unwind. Time to enjoy the silence of my house and spending luxurious hours where it is not my responsibility to take care of anyone else’s needs.

To give myself a day off, I have to do some hard work leading up to it. I need the house cleaned because I cannot relax when I am surrounded by clutter. I’ll wind up spending my down day doing housework if I don’t plan ahead. I also need to make sure that all of my other responsibilities are met. For example, I won’t be able to rest if I need to need to pay a bill or run an errand.

Sometimes when I am in my hectic workaholic mode, I question the wisdom of setting aside a day of rest, but when I actually take one, I am rejuvenated in a way that nothing else can. My day of rest seems to last forever (versus my workdays, which seem to fly by with not enough hours in the day to get it all done). My yoga lady used to tell me that we are human BEings, not human DOings, so I need to learn how to “be” more. That is what today is all about!

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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PhotobucketI had a wonderful day yesterday resting. I did not rest the entire day, but I rested enough to feel rejuvenated this morning.

I have been working too much lately, and this will continue for two more weeks. One of my three part-time jobs ebbs and flows. I am teaching students how to study for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), which is offered four times a year. The next one is on October 1, so I am very busy teaching a class as well as tutoring. Feast or famine is the nature of the job. I might not work again for this part-time job until 2012, but right now, I am completely slammed.

I worked 9.5 hours for this job on Tuesday PLUS an hour for job #2 PLUS an hour for job #3. Other than short breaks for meals, I did not stop. A month ago, I had not seen a paycheck in weeks. Again, nature of the beast.

I had worked all weekend (am covering a class in another state on Saturdays, which requires five hours of driving), all day Monday, and then this insane day on Tuesday. By Tuesday night, my brain was no longer able to process the formal logic required in class on Tuesday night. I made jokes about it with my class and pointed out that I, like them, needed to take a little time off from the LSAT.

So, I rested yesterday. I had three hours of work that had to be done for my other jobs. I did one hour before breakfast and the other two hours from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The rest of the day, I nurtured myself. I went to the gym and read my book while doing 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I then did weights before coming home and doing yoga. I took a shower and then camped out in my bedroom.

I kept a scented candle lit all day (lavender/vanilla), and I watched the season premieres of two of my favorite TV shows. I ate what I wanted for lunch. Then, I took a three-hour nap. I was so relaxed that my body actually RESTED! (I continue my struggles with insomnia at night and awaken each morning around 5:00 a.m. with my heart pounding.) After I woke up, I watched a comedy.

Next, I picked up my kid from school. (It was an early release day.) He relaxed in his room for a couple of hours (he is wiped out as well because he won’t sleep when I am not home, and I don’t get home until 10:00 p.m. on Tue/Thu) while I did my other two hours of work. It seemed so easy because I was so well-rested.

Next, my son and I took our dogs for a walk. Then, we met friends for dinner at my favorite restaurant. (Hub is out of town on a business trip.) By the time I went to bed, it seemed like three relaxing days had passed.

I cannot believe how quickly a busy day flies by, whereas a relaxing day seems to take its sweet little time. That is exactly what I needed.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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