This is the twelfth day I must call myself ‘unemployed.’ Here are somethings I’ve learned:
- I do not like dusting any more when I do, in fact, have time to do it.
- When actively working on learning to ‘slow down’ – I will, in fact, choose to shampoo the carpets over sitting on the couch.
- Digging through layers of stress and years of ingrained strategies to cope with stress is hard.
My goal during this time (although I understand it may be cut short by the need to obtain an interim job), was to stop the ‘do all the things today.’
(actual photo of me)
I remembered what it was like to curl up on the couch with a book and a blanket, in front of the fireplace. To sit and read and escape ‘all the things’ for just a little while. Reading is one of my great joys.
So I pictured taking the kids to school, walking the dog, getting in a workout – then spending an hour or two reading and (gasp) relaxing. If only to remember how. Get the kids from school, prepare them a healthy snack, and then start working on supper.
What I have learned is that remembering the process of relaxing is not as easy as doing it. Its realizing that my brain has been set on ‘high alert’ for about nine or 10 years, and there has never been enough time to get everything done. Sometimes there isn’t enough time to get the important stuff done. There have been a lot of nights up until midnight over the years to try to be everything to everyone.
The reality is that it was never about the time. It was always about me. It was always about the pressure I put on myself to ‘do all the things.’ Having more time is not the answer.
Its about me and my brain. Its about learning that my value in life is not the number of things I make. Not in how clean my house is, or what I’ve named my dust bunnies. My value does not rest on what I provide to others.
This is a tough one. This learning to embrace the fact that you have value simply by being. I’ve told countless people that over the years and I’ve never once believed it about myself. The world has given me countless reasons not to believe it.
For a long time I’ve believed that real meaning is to find meaning (If you want to read an amazing book on the subject, I would suggest ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl). I have interpreted this to mean that while circumstances do sometimes just happen, my responsibility is to figure out what I am supposed to learn from the experience. It is often easier to see looking back, so I rest in the confidence that I am on the right road and future me will look back on a path that ended up making perfect sense.
As every journey must start with a single step, so must this. My goal today is to spend a single hour resting, reading, refreshing my spirit. Without guilt or shame. Without worrying about what I should be doing to benefit others. My goal today is to spend that single hour reminding myself that the love, respect, and regard I hold for every member of God’s creation might just apply to me to.
Wish me luck.