Sunday, January 9, 2011

OK to Rest?

Normally, I'm probably what you would call an overachiever.  I don't know how to do something just a little bit. I don't just participate in an event, I join the committee to put the whole thing together (or start up a new event completely).  Through most of my adult life, I've had at least 2 jobs at a time, while doing volunteer work equal to a full time gig.  Add to that little side projects that always come up, social events that need to be planned, and errands that need to be run, and ... well, I just never really knew how to relax.

Over the past 2-3 years, I have not been physically able to keep up with that pace.  Though I've made enormous health improvements over the past year, I'm still not completely back to my old self. I was getting close, but got thrown for a loop again with this bug that won't go away.  It's definitely frustrating, but even on a bad day now I'm still doing about a thousand times better than I was a year ago.  I have to continually remind myself of that, so I stay focused on the positive.

The thing I'm having the most difficulty with is learning to slow down.  Actually, it's not so much learning to slow down, but accepting that it's OK to do so.  That's really the hardest part for me.  I know that I need to rest and recuperate, and give my body a chance to repair itself.  I know that if I overdo it, I'll only set myself back even further.  Unfortunately, quite often what we know has nothing to do with how we feel.

feel like I'm being lazy when I do nothing all weekend.  I should be doing laundry, food shopping, cooking, cleaning, reading, writing, planning, exercising, and visiting my grandmother.  I catch myself using that word, and I know I've got to snap out of it.  

If I were talking to someone else, I would tell her how important it is for her to take care of herself first.  I would reassure her that in the grand scheme of things, a few dirty dishes don't mean anything compared to her health.  I would remind her that she shouldn't be visiting a 91-year-old woman with CHF while she's still coughing and congested anyway.  I would reassure her that if she takes the time to heal now, she'll be able to get her strength back and do more in the future.  I would make sure she knew how important she is as a person, and that she deserves to feel better.  And I wouldn't stop until she both knew and felt that it was OK.

So I've decided ... I'm going to pretend I'm someone else for a minute, if that's what it takes for me to listen.  I'm going to give myself all that advice, and hear it from an outsider.  I am going to be grateful that I don't have as many obligations at the moment, so I have the opportunity to take it easy this weekend.  I'm not being lazy, I'm being smart.  I'm conserving my energy now, so I'll have it when I really need it later.

And now I'm going to go and rest.

** If you like what you read, tell a friend!  Actually, tell me too - post a comment below!!  If you don't ... well ... I'm all for honesty, but please be gentle!