It’s not often you get the chance to stop. To really stop. Even when I’ve been forced to lie in bed with lots of ice on my back, I worked from my laptop. And then I’d hear the girls sqeal, either out of joy or distress and I’d force my non-cooperative back up out of bed and towards the source of the noise. There has been a couple of times over the past year that The Husband had encouraged me to go and spend a few days at my parens in the Yorkshire Dales. Evertime there was always a hundred reasons not to pursue it.
But when we talked about it a couple of weeks ago he didnt need to ask me twice. After driving to and from Wales last weekend we both new my back would need to catch up with itself. I knew I could do with a little rest. No driving. No picking Ruby up. No supermarkets. No laundry. No flying around from one place to the next. So on Tuesday I met my mam at Lancaster and she drove me over the moors to their house.
I’ve been spoilt, sleeping in until my body told me it had enjoyed enough rest. I’ve read no emails and done no work; trying to forget for a few short days how much work I have on before Christmas. I’ve knitted and I’ve sewed. I’ve read a book and fallen in love with Downton Abbey. I’ve taken the time to think back over the previous weekend in Wales with 30 or so very awesome people, trying to tie-down memoried before they have the chance to float away.
I don’t take one second of this time for granted. I’ve not rested like this in seven years and I know people have gone far longer who perhaps need it more. Why do we not value rest enough? We argue it slows us down but surely doesn’t it keep us going longer? My physiotherapist asked me how often I alloted time in the day to rest my back – not including those times I am forced to rest through pain. I stared at him a while, knowing if I didn’t look away I’d soon not be able to see him through the tears. I didn’t need to say a word. When he asked me why, I launched into a babble of justification as a mother, as a home maker, as a wife and as an employee. Stopping when you didn’t need to is unthinkable right?
The next few minutes flipped all of this upside down and inside out. He told me that I need to see resting as part of my physio plan each day, and it was what would strengthen up my body more than any stretch or exercise. I always saw rest as the absense of action. In music a rest is the absence of a musical note. In working out, a rest is the absense of movement. Surely?
Now I see rest as so much more than that – maybe everyone has always seen it and I’ve just been ridiculously ignorant of it. There is always so much going on behind the scenes during any kind of rest. A drawing of breath in music. A regulating of the heart in working out. It’s absolutely neccessary. There is purpose in rest – it makes everything more efficient.
I will never be one to be comfortable with prolonged absence of activity. I’m way too impatient and impulsive. But, even forgetting the recovery from my back injury and thinking about life in general, I recognise that short bursts of regular rest (I’m talking even five minutes to flick through a magazine or just sit for a while in quietness), should almost certainly make me a more patient mother and wife and more effective in everything I try to do.
Do you need a little rest?