It’s 11:30 in the morning and I’m standing in my kitchen wearing last night’s pajamas and a robe. I’m bingeing Ted Lasso on my iPad, which I’ve started today and episode 3 is up. From the fridge I’ve fished out a small wedge of brie cheese, an apple, sour cherry spread, and some chicken from dinner the night before. I eat till the cheese is gone.
Next, I go for the chocolate Rubicon cupcakes from Whole Foods that my neighbor brought me on Sunday. There’s one left in the package. I cut it into quarters…as if I’m only going to eat a portion of it. By the time I’ve finished picking at it, there’s chunks of the vanilla filling left, but that’s about all. I shrug and throw it into the trash. Ted Lasso is talking about believing in yourself. Then my iPad dies. And that’s when I decide to write to all of you.
No Bending, Lifting, or Twisting
Today marks 10 days of house arrest. I didn’t commit a crime. And no, I don’t have COVID, if that’s what you may have automatically assumed. I had back surgery. Before Tuesday morning last week, I spent a year waking up each day in excruciating pain. To sit was to endure a nagging form of torture. My mobility had become limited. Consequently, I began to lose my marbles. So, I resolved to have a microdiscectomy to remove the portion of the disk in my vertebrae that was putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. For the next several weeks, no bending, lifting, twisting, nor any activity that promotes those movements shall be permitted.
As you lovely readers already know, I’m a mother of 3, a house wife, and a fitness aficionado. My days start at 6:00 AM with a workout. I do not take “rest days.” I didn’t even really know what a “rest day” is. I’m an adult. What is rest? Also: I’m American. Rest day = laziness. Who actually has time for rest? I don’t even sleep at night. This of course is not some badge of honor, but instead more evidence to the culprit of what stole my marbles from me. Did I say I lost them? No. It was highway robbery.
A Body In Motion…
Seven days a week, I start my day with sweat sessions, then motor around for the remainder of the appropriate waking hours (usually deemed till about 10:30 PM) and only sit to drive or have family dinner. Laying is reserved for the sleep I’m not getting. One of my favorite phrases to repeat? A body in motion stays in motion! I do what I can to be conscious of the food I put in my mouth and try not to overindulge. Eat clean. Drink water. All that. Well, until the cupcake incident.
Nah, Betta Not.
I did get out of bed at 6:10 this morning to make lunches and breakfast for my children. I helped my youngest get dressed and I did her hair. Then I hugged and kissed them all goodbye as they shuffled into my car with my mother at the wheel. What happened next, though, is how you know rest has demanded my attention.
For a moment, I thought about taking a slow walk on the treadmill. My pre-surgery self would be proud. But then…Nah, betta not. Instead, I opted to finish David Farrier’s Dark Tourist docuseries on Netflix. I ate the rest of my daughter’s oatmeal and chuckled at the bone-dry sense of humor David Farrier brings to some of the most bizarre realities I’ve ever been exposed to. If you have not checked it out, I highly recommend you do so.
When it was over, I retreated to my bedroom and promptly downloaded Apple TV and pressed play on Ted Lasso. Before long, I ended up standing in my kitchen at 11:30 eating brie cheese and a cupcake in my onesie pjs and a robe. In addition to that magnificent display of not giving a F*$%, I have been indulging in the art of the nap, and diving into Adam Grant’s latest book, Think Again. Also recommended, for the record.
No Longer Elusive
Rest has finally won. It is not elusive in the process of recovery, it is essential. Perhaps if I would have prioritized rest more in the past, I could have avoided surgery all together. I hope I will remember that for the future. Too often we disregard our bodies and our minds when they are begging for a breather. We tell ourselves to “toughen up,” “no pain no gain,” “who else will do it if I won’t,” and other quips. Lindsay said it best after I told her that I had laid in bed most of the day and read: “That was music to my ears.”
Everyone is so quick to say how busy they are. Lindsay also noted that she doesn’t want to hear the laundry list of tasks that have been or need to be accomplished in a woman’s day. Like her, I feel celebratory and lit up inside when she tells me that she read during her youngest’s nap, instead of doing chores or working. Like her, listening to how busy someone is doesn’t inspire me, it actually kind of annoys me.
The hustler side of my brain is getting schooled right now. Rest is doing the teaching. Where might rest be eager to teach you? Are you ignoring it? My hope is to gently encourage you to give it a chance to restore parts of yourself you don’t even realize need restitution.
Surely my iPad has recharged again. I reckon it’s time for some more Ted Lasso.