A couple of night’s ago I experienced a blessing in disguise. After a particularly long day at work, Sawyer and I enjoyed a night in to ourselves rather than bustling around doing work around the apartment or going out to see friends or have a drink at our favorite local bar. Sawyer adores watching European football and Euro 2016 has been going on for the past couple of weeks. He dedicated his evening to watching the Germany v Italy match last night and, while I’m not much of a soccer fan myself, sat with him in the common area with a book. It was an absolute delight to spend a quiet couple of hours reading while he sat watching the match. We spent three undistracted hours together simply enjoying the recreational activities we chose for the evening.
This short and sweet post is meant to underline the importance of taking a breather every once in a while. I should definitely take my own advice here. I work seven days a week and recently it has felt as though home isn’t home anymore because of all the work that has to be done to get ready for our move. Philadelphia is looming ever more present now, with only 39 days left before we’re departing from Sunrise Spot for the last time. I often come home and launch myself into a new project in order to get ready for the move, such as repainting the kitchen cabinets a nice fresh coat of white or boxing up items (a spare tube of toothpaste or winter clothing) we won’t need until mid-August or later, forgetting to take a few minutes for myself between things. I just have to continue to remind myself: when swimming, you must come up for air.
Thus, my relaxing night in with Sawyer siting next to me was a salve for an achey body and reboot for my emotional wellbeing. I couldn’t tell you how fondly I felt for Sawyer allowing me to rest my pillow against his thigh as I read my book. Despite a handful of exasperated outbursts that he had over the game on TV, I felt completely at ease for the first time in what perhaps could be weeks (I honestly don’t know, because I just keep chugging along!).
I try to use a new, helpful tip to slow myself down when I notice that I’m going from one thing to the next without any pause for reflection, decision-making, and a breath of air. I like to take my book, whatever I’m reading at the time, and read a chapter. It doesn’t matter how many pages the chapter is, I read no less and no more than one chapter. This enables me to break up the day. It gives me that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel created by to-do lists. It gives me something to look forward to, the escape from the world that I need to keep me motivated in reality. Otherwise, I’ll fizzle out. I’ll drown beneath all the things I continually try to do each day.
If you are – like I was – looking for a buffer between all of the chores, work, and everyday upkeep, I suggest sitting down in your comfiest chair with whatever you find enjoyable (whether it be reading, knitting, drawing or coloring, or listening to soothing music) for 15-20 minutes between activities. This way, you’ve taken a mental break from the workload you are grappling with and allowed some time to do something you feel passionate about. What I would suggest avoiding, however, would be surfing the web. The internet is so vast and there are an infinite amount of possibilities and locations in which you could navigate it is often sensorially overwhelming. The goal of the 15-20 hiatus is to focus on one specific thing, which is almost impossible on the internet.
I am so thankful for that evening now that another week has begun and everything is continuing to hurtle toward our August 14 move-out/move-in date. Slow nights like that one serve as a reminder of my many blessings and I am so glad to be given the opportunities to enjoy them. Slowing down, even in the midst of change, is incredibly important to our health in a multitude of ways. I feel much more energized, mentally and physically, knowing that I will have those quiet 15 minute reprieves every couple of hours to break up the steady flow of work to get ready for this move, to show the apartment to new potential lease/renters, and to sort through the stuff that my relatively short lifetime has accumulated. It’s a joy to look forward to my book.
What is your escape?: I’d love to hear what all of you choose to do as an escape from the work week!