The Lesson of 2010…Rest

This should probably read “work hard, play hard” or something snazzier. Or maybe, it should read “manage your internal clock better”? I though I had learned this lesson, but I obviously did not. I pushed myself really hard this past year. I wanted to grow, as a person, mother, friend and creative person. I pushed myself beyond all of my fears and all of the boundaries I had internalized, or so I thought.

One of the major things that women tend not to do is take care of themselves. I started off 2010 with the goal of really taking care of myself. I incorporated self-care and downtime into my life, but that quickly gave way to accomplishing my goals. I had even decided to work with my body clock and rest as needed. Yeah, well that began to fall off around the beginning of the spring. I noticed that even when I am sitting still, my is racing.

Toward the end of the year, I vowed to change that, yet again, so I slowed down, but it was too late. While standing on a stage, talking about women of color and HIV prevention, I felt hot and flustered. I was given some tea, water, and some cold and flu medicine. Wait, let’s rewind.

Earlier in the day, I woke up feeling like I had been severely beaten and had a bit of congestion. A very hot shower and tea took care of it, or so I thought. By the time I finished my event early that afternoon, I felt great. Well, I felt better. Once the next morning rolled around, I had a fever, was in cold sweats and feeling horrible. OF course I did not let that stop me. I had students to see and final papers to discuss. So with the help of a friend, I made it to work, but I was so sick, they decided to sit in my classes with me to make sure I didn’t pass out.

For the rest of the week, I got up every morning, taught classes, came home, then fell out. By the end of the week, I felt great. I went to my film class, spent time with an old friend and over the course of two and a half days, graded all of my final exams and final research papers.

Go me! Not really!

In the midst of all of this, I was packing, cleaning, finishing a freelance project, preparing for Christmas and doing all that comes with  the end of the year. Once I arrived 400 miles away, with my daughter, at my mother’s house on the 23rd, it was pretty much a wrap. Luckily, I was able to rest — really rest.

But now I am back and sort of picking up where I left off, however, I am implementing a few hard and fast rules, at least for now:

  1. Yoga practice: I will be going to yoga once a week. I did it a bit last year and it made me feel on top of the world. Once I can do more than once a week, I will adjust.
  2. Finish Reverb10. I left off on December 11th and will continue from there. I found that these prompts really helped me begin to focus and excavate a few things from my life.
  3. Stillness. I will practice the art of stillness for at least 10 minutes every morning and evening. I need to quiet my mind before I get raring to go.
  4. Patience. I will be patient with myself. ‘Tis all.
  5. Self-care. I will take exquisite care of my mind and body. If I don’t have them, I have nothing.

To that end, Happy New Year and may it be a fabulous one for all!