I’m currently sitting in bed, hiding underneath my blanket and its 1:00pm. Outside the rain is drizzling down and I couldn’t feel more content in my fluffy pink robe and messy, untamed hair. Today i’ve finally given myself a day of doing nothing. Sadly, I seldom give myself the gift of rest. For a long time I’ve held the belief that to rest is naughty and lazy, and that rest comes only when earned and only for a short period of time. Since moving my life to Portugal, I’ve been thinking about the concept of rest and what it looks like for different people from different places in the world today.
If you’ve been following my recent posts, you’d know that I’ve been settling into a new life here in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s been a wonderful adventure so far, but also fucking hard. I couldn’t find stable work (and thus no fixed income) until about 2 weeks ago- Hallelujah. At last I landed a full-time teaching job at a big International School here in Lisbon and i’m super grateful for this. Despite my recent job landing however, I was still feeling quite tense, anxious and uneasy about things. Yesterday I caught myself in crazy, anal, planning mode (wondering what was next for me) and knew this was a big cause of the recent ‘uneasiness’ feeling. It got me thinking: WHY THE FUCK DO I NEED TO PLAN EVERYTHING? Why am I always worrying about future plans and my next move? It’s awful. Not only do I waste my precious energy (and nerves) worrying about some future life that may or may not exist, but I’m also wasting this gorgeous moment right here, right now. I’m so worried about the next move, that I’m completely disrespecting the current life I’m actually living. I cannot continue living in the future, I cannot keep wanting to plan and control tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
Isn’t the magic of life found in the unplanned? YES, IT IS. I know it is because I’ve experienced first hand, the magic and indescribable joy that diving into unknown, scary terrain brings. And I very much hope to live a rich life full of spontaneous moments and experiences that come out of the blue and surprise me and leave me feeling speechless and in awe of the beauty of this life. So then the question is… How do I and so many other maniac planners (I know there are many of you out there), just fucking chill? I don’t know if I have an answer for this today. I know that the most typical response for this would be to practice meditation and practice being grounded in the present moment. But today, I simply choose to rest. I’m lucky to have this week off from work as the school is on half-term break. Day one of my week off has no agenda and nothing planned- what a fucking relief.
Today the agenda is rest. And today that looks like watching cooking shows in bed until I can’t be bothered to watch them anymore. It looks like ordering food in and reading the book I keep meaning to read. It looks like watching raindrops hitting the window and simply finding stillness in that, allowing my mind to just rest. Allowing myself to just be as I am, on this Monday. Rest is so joyful. I promise to give myself more of these moments, without feeling like I need to earn them. We don’t need to earn rest, it is simply our right.
Otherwise, this life will pass me by, and all I’ll have left in the end is my planner diary. No thank you.
“There is deep power in taking a break, honouring your body and actively participating in your deprogramming from grind culture. We have been brainwashed to be violent towards our own bodies by pushing it to exhaustion. Resting is not evil, capitalism is. You can pause. You can rest”. –The Nap Ministry