i don't know what to do with my hands. a few times in the past few weeks, i have been away from my children with languid hours for resting, relaxing and remembering who i am. the truth is, i have no idea how to do that anymore. resting is alien territory, and as i navigate REALLY AND TRULY doing self-care, and digging deeply into the accountability of that work, i am trying to investigate why.
resting means: i lay on the couch while he brings them to school.
resting means: i still got up early to lay out their clothes, help them get dressed and ready.
resting means: there is so much laundry to do, i'll do some today.
resting means: no! you're supposed to lay down and rest.
resting means: he makes me a beautiful, healthy breakfast.
resting means: i do the laundry anyway.
resting means: i answer work emails.
resting means: i cry with gratitude that my boss will not target me in response to this absence.
resting means: i load the dishwasher.
resting means: i answer more work emails.
resting means: "i should..." for eternity
when i am with others, i am able to remember glimpses of who i was before. at nicole and shawn's wedding, reminiscing with eli, with jos at the beach, with gail on walton ave, at ali's kitchen table. but alone, i clearly have forgotten what to do with my time.
renequa reminded me this morning that we must write. so i am on the couch, still in my pajamas at 2:35pm, writing a blog entry and trying to figure out how to rest. why i don't rest. and why, when given the time and space to do so, i distract myself from the healing properties of actually resting.
having young kids, rest is an exquisite luxury, one that i haven't had in years. but as my kids grow into their own hurricane force winds, i do occasionally have some time to think about who i am and how i want to grow. i am turning 40 this year, and there is much i still want to accomplish in this short time on earth.
the "i should"s are what interrupt my rest, because those are usually domestic tasks. in our household, we share domestic tasks much more equitably than in many heterosexual relationships, but there is the mental load that many women take on, where i am in a perpetual hell of managing dr's appts, calendars, soccer practices, prescription refills, cleaning, organizing, folding and sorting of our lives. thank goodness we have no social lives.
as i'm writing this, the dishwasher is sloshing in the background, the laundry is in the dryer and i am poised to write back to my son in his Friday notebook, which i neglected to do last night. i have just sent an email volunteering to be room parent, because i need more things to do with my hands. sigh.
stay tuned for more episodes which expose the frailty of my commitment to rest.