I experience such a deep sorrow when I can’t get to everything on my to-do list in the time in which a much less exhausted version of me drew it up. I hate to cancel or postpone anything, especially creative projects. I figure I’m gonna be dead a long time, so why not fill up every hour of every day on my calendar now with all those things I want to do?
Sounds… not so great, doesn’t it?
Oh, if only we could come up with a way to not need so much sleep…
I had to cancel a studio session last week, and I really hated to. I am always up for everything – until I burn myself out and I’m not. My mind was and is always eager, and my body was saying, ‘You’ve got a hell of a busy weekend coming up – you need to be fully rested for it.’
So, instead of going to the studio last Thursday, I sat in the front yard for a while, staring at the bird feeder. Nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, and goldfinches, all in near constant motion preparing for the coming cold. I was really enjoying the peace and ease and calm, feeling gravity settle me into the chair, noticing the regeneration of stamina moving through my mind and body – and of course, I started thinking, Hmm, I’m feeling better. I could’ve gone to the studio today after all…
Shawn came out to chat at one point, and I told him what I was thinking.
He smiled at me and said, ‘Everyone needs medicinal laziness from time to time.’
Medicinal laziness! I love that.
And there’s that word I use to criticize my need for stillness and rest – ‘lazy’. Why do I so often, in my own case, frame the act of taking time out as ‘laziness’? Even in my daily meditation practice, I view it in part as working on something, working on the project of being more present and aware. I’m very often creating more work for myself, even when I’m sitting still and literally doing nothing!!
I do enjoy staying busy.
How many times have I supported the choice of others to take that same time out, but then criticize my own need for that same restoration? I gotta keep a little bit of that care and compassion for myself.
(More work on self to do, haha)
The birds are busy as hell these days, and I have been too. And it’s okay, like them, to rest on a branch for a bit, taking stock of what’s happening and what’s to come, and show up as fully to this body and mind as I always hope to for anyone else’s.