After the last few weeks of gut-wrenching mental torment and the emotional agony of the healing process, things around here have been…well, restful. Imagine that; not overworking or doing, doing, doing?
Yeah, I didn’t know what that looked like, either.
In thinking about blog topics for today, I sifted through my usual list of grievances, both against humanity and myself. I considered what was going on in life, little anecdotes about my days or with what exactly I’ve filled them. Truthfully though, my time has been passing with very little to distinguish one day from the other. I have been napping a lot lately, not exercising as intensely as usual, writing less and reading more.
In short, I’ve been hibernating. Licking my wounds, then retreating home to sleep it off – after eating enough cheese to last through two winters, of course.
While this is nice for me personally, it may have sapped my store of interesting blog topics for the day. Unless you guys want to hear about my latest trip to Target (where a twelve pack of toilet paper was on sale!) and how many amazing books I have read (Reading Lolita in Tehran; The Year of Magical Thinking; Suburban Nation; Carry On, Warrior; Lean In. Okay, I’ll be honest; some were not “amazing,” just plain old “good” or “okay”).
So even though I have neither compelling nor humorous stories about life because I am very busy resting and spending quality time with my books, I did make a valuable discovery this week…
I discovered I am really mean to myself. Like, bully mean, full of negative trash-talk and exaggerated taunting. I didn’t even realize I was doing it, or that how I treated myself was wrong or even mattered.
Measuring myself solely by how “productive” I am, if I make a mistake or fail to accomplish a planned task, my favorite pet description of myself is “failure.” Or “worthless.” Or “stupid.” This name calling is so reflexive, it’s no wonder I’m often sad-faced and defeated.
So for the past few weeks, I have been resting when I am tired. I have been writing when I can, but if I miss a day, I don’t resort to “all hands on deck” panic-mode, the special way I pressure myself into doing more than is healthy. I have been treating myself as if my well-being actually mattered.
The result? A few days ago I asked myself, “Why didn’t I try this years ago?”
Thus, I’ve begun taping inspirational quotes to my office mirror. Don’t laugh! I’m forgetful, and they remind me to be kind to myself when I start with the negativity, to be positive when really I just want to wallow in self-inflicted pain.
As an inadvertent bonus, all this rest has been a conduit for a level of creativity unmatched probably in my entire life. Ideas for larger projects are flowing in, and I feel motivated and equipped to make changes that will better my quality of life.
I’m taking things a little slower; am faster to see another’s point of view.
The verdict on this time of restfulness and kindness towards myself? Everybody wins.
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