solidarity sunday #11: rest

People who know what they’re doing have a purposeful air to them, even if they don’t seem to be particularly active

Francis Pryor, Home

Hello my dear readers. I hope this missive finds you well, truly well, or as well as can be given the uncertainties of our times.

Yes, I know, all time can be said to be uncertain since all we can do is experience the present as it is without the means (or perhaps even the desire) to change the past or to predict the future. But this last year-and-a-half has seemed even more hazy, has it not? Hazy in the literal sense with the continuation of the horrific forest fires being fought and, unfortunately, succumbed to when all else fails in communities all over the world (to say nothing of the heat domes, floods and, conversely, droughts). But for the majority of us this time has been hazy in the figurative sense as we struggle with a collective brain fog making what were once every day activities seem exhausting and perhaps pointless.

Right now, in Ontario at least, we are in a bit of a lull as far as the pandemic is concerned. This is not to suggest that our frontline workers are not pushing themselves to the limit every day to keep us all safe, fed, clothed and healthy – because they are – but rather that our case numbers have been thankfully reduced to something slightly more manageable overall. For now.

But is another wave coming? Some say yes, some say no. And I will not claim the all-too-common title of internet-accredited epidemiologist whose views are confirmed and bolstered by the echo chambers of the world wide web. I will simply say that I am hoping another wave can be avoided, that I am cautiously optimistic about this, but that I am preparing myself internally for another lockdown if such measures are necessary for us to get through this damn thing once and for all.

I’ve featured this image before but it sure covers the hazy concept, no? (Photo: Erin of the Hills)

OK, Erin, what is your point?

My point is that as part of this internal preparation for the worst-case-scenario, I have been listening, I mean really listening, to my body and my heart and giving both these integral parts of my being what they need when they need it. To this end, I have been allowing myself to rest more than I have in decades (much to the delight of my ever-caring husband) in order to avoid the mental and physical anguish I went through during the last few lockdowns.

If we do lock down again, and it is quite possible that this will be necessary no matter what the outcome of next week’s elections are, I don’t want it to come so close to defeating my spirit this time. This time, I will hold my own, I will continue to relish in the beauty that is life, I WILL NOT crawl back into that dark hole of endless screen-time and tight hamstrings. I will not only endure, I will thrive.

These flowers have been ravaged by pests, and still they thrive (Photo: Erin of the Hills)

And how will I achieve this miraculous feat of thriving in the midst of a pandemic-induced lockdown while the world’s climate continues its erratic human-error induced spiral?

I will rest.

When I need to. And when it is time to be productive, I will do so, but only insofar as my energy holds out. I will not push myself past my limits in order to check everything off my never-ending to do list.

I will enjoy my time with my daughter (tantrums and all – emotions are hard!); I will read to my hearts content and never get anywhere close to finishing my To Read pile and that’s OK; I will savour my time with my husband whether we spend it playing Pokemon Go, or watching a movie, or just chatting as we sink comfortably into sleep; I will breathe in as much fresh air as possible at every opportunity; and I will love the heck out of my family and friends, even if it has to be from afar for the time being.

Louis and I during our engagement shoot – way pre-Covid! (Photo: Saidia Photography)

I will write. I will write. I will write.

But most of all, I will rest. For it is in resting that we are truly able to appreciate all the beautiful people, places, and experiences that make up this incredible thing we call life.

Even if I don’t look very active every second of every day, my very air is purposeful because I know what I’m doing. And I know what I need.

And you? How will you continue, or begin, to prioritize rest? For some people, September is like a new year (school began this month after all) so what better time to commit to yourself anew? It can’t hurt, and it can most certainly help.

And, remember, Life is beautiful.

xo Erin

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