Finding Rest…Just in Time for Thanksgiving

I’m gonna be real honest with you: I’m pooped.

I don’t mean tired. I don’t mean exhausted. I mean, across the boards, Done. In.

It started with playing single mommy for four months while Ian was away for military training and it is ending (note the optimism here) TODAY.

Quite literally, because his ‘seasoning days’ (whatever those are) are completed TODAY…convenient, since I have been planning a breakdown for this occasion since early June. The year has weighed heavy, on many fronts, but suffice it to say, I’m ready for a break.

To start off with, I’m limiting the amount of words I put into the stratosphere. Being a person who, since the age of one minute, has thought that any worldly ill can be solved with the addition of more words, it has been a shocking discovery that my words do not, in fact, keep the earth spinning on its axis. God has had to intervene in strenuous ways to keep this ole’ mouth shut, but this time the girl is listening. All that to say, you may not be hearing much from me for the next few weeks. I’m focusing on (get this) living, instead of writing, blogging, Twittering, or Facebooking about it. My sanity thanks you in advance for your understanding.

Two, I’ve got a fair amount of cooking to do this next week. Cooking, for me, is either a famine or a feast proposition: I’me either navigating the fiords of Indian cooking or scuffling across the sloughs of peanut butter sandwich making, but never anything in between. This week, with family and well-loved friends in town, I’m turning off Ye Olde Macbook and pulling out the brown sugar. Have you ever heard of Pecan Tassies? Yes, well, She and I will be cavorting over coffee laced heavily with Irish Cream, so will not be available for a bit. Cooking (and cleaning, too, although I hate to admit the depths of my OCD on that domestic front) is the Ying to my writing Yang. If I go too long without her, I go a bit crazy (ask the kids), so we’re resuscitating our relationship. Again, I know you’ll be ever so patient.

Three, I’ve been reading too much. It’s a disease, really. People ask, How do you have so much time to read? To which I answer, How do you have so much time to eat, sleep, and use the restroom? The need is the same, thus the ensuing need for a break from it. In this vein, I went librarying yesterday with the goal of checking me out the trashiest, romanciest, easiest read I could find. It was awkward, like trying to purposely find the ugliest outfit I could possibly squeeze my middle-aged self into, but I did it. The book lasted 4.2 seconds before I discarded it onto my bedroom floor. I will have to find another. If nothing else, I will slide mindlessly into a Danielle Steele novel (which one doesn’t matter, they’re all the same) and wither away the hours while my brain recovers from the likes of Hitler’s Executioners.

Four, have I mentioned? I’m tired of writing. So I’m moving on, Churchillian-style, to something else (“A change is as good as a rest”). Thanks to my friend, Sara, I’ve discovered painting. Or, if not exactly ‘discovered,’ ‘dabbled in.’ I use my fingers and it’s so fun. Gives wings to my tactile desire to make a mess (compare and/or contrast that to my earlier OCD admission, if you are so moved). I recently, under her direction, painted a picture. This is the first picture I have painted since 1976. It is terrifyingly ugly, but I am proud of it because I’m a perfectionist and a perfectionist is never proud of anything she has tried to do. I didn’t try to do this painting. I only played with it. Therefore, it is lovely. And I am proud of it. Amen.

Five, I am saying no. To everything, mostly, but also to the following: Exercise, clean eating, and doing things well. For the week (at least), I am adopting my dear Dr. P’s mantra: ‘A ‘B’ job leads to an ‘A’ experience.’ Therefore, I will not plan the ‘perfect’ Thanksgiving meal, the ‘perfect’ modes of familial bonding, the ‘perfect’ Christmas-decorating-session. I will let it flow, let it be what it is, and won’t regret what it isn’t. Otherwise known as Letting-God-Be-God. And equally as hard.

Six, I will embrace The Moment. You know, the thing we used to do effortlessly before social media was invented? I will not think of This Event or That Cute Thing as potential Tweets. I will live–and enjoy!–whatever cute, adorable, poingant things my kids say/think/do and, like Mary, ‘bind them up in my heart’ instead of spraying them to the unsuspecting (and uninterested) on Facebook. I may even (prepare yourself) keep something private. Hello, journal.

Because seven is the Biblical number of completion, I will leave you with this one last thought: If you, like me, are burned out with the glut of year-end demands on your mind/body/soul, won’t you come away with me on this mini-retreat? Streamline your gift-giving (hello, Amazon), limit your obligations (hello, ‘no’),take the pressure off (the weightlifting can wait). Press ‘STOP’ on the treadmill and look around with a clear head. The world isn’t going to stop spinning if you do. And there are people just an arm’s-length away who need you and your undivided attention this week, this month. Your 14yo. Your lonely, crotchety neighbor lady. That one family at church. The Man.

Won’t you invite them? Not just into your home, but into your heart? Stop. Look. Listen. And, whatever you do, don’t forget to breathe.

Be still, yes? And know, yes? That I am God, yes?

So you don’t need to be.

Now there’s something to be thankful for.

Blessings, my friends, this week of thankfulness…and all others, which should be.

 

 


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