Journey 127: A Gift to Me

gift of rest

It’s been a busy week. This afternoon, in between showing property this morning and appointments this evening, I found myself lagging a bit, physically. I took a stroll in my beautiful, peaceful garden. After showers this morning it practically sparkled in the sunlight peeking through the clouds. I felt restored.

However, back inside, I tried reading, and then massaging away what I call a “storm headache”. When we are experiencing stormy weather, the pressure in my head seems to shift with the changing barometric pressure outdoors, creating a stuffy head and pain. At last, I decided to gift myself with a rare treat for me….a nap.

I don’t like to sleep during the day. I’ve never been a nap person…just ask my mom! Even when I’m battling a cold or the flu, I work it off or at the most, drink hot tea while watching a favorite movie. To take a nap during the day is foreign to me. However, I found myself nodding off while attempting to read. I gave in. I’m learning to listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry, go to bed at night when I’m sleepy, walk or exercise when I feel restless. This afternoon, my body and mind were crying out for rest.

And so I did. In a surprisingly short time, I knew I was drifting toward sleep, resting comfortably in my chair in the living room. I couldn’t quite bring myself to lie down. When I awoke, I felt refreshed and my headache was gone. I was shocked to see that only 20 minutes had gone by. It felt like a much longer nap. I also felt a bit guilty, to be resting in the middle of the day, and spent a few moments examining that emotion.

I looked up the word “rest” to see what the root meaning of the word is. I discovered the root word, restan, which is Old English, and of German origin, means “league or mile, referring to the distance after which one rests”. My word for this year, journey, means the distance one can travel in a day. The two seem connected…Journey….Rest….Journey…Rest. The guilt melted away.

I gave myself permission to be okay with resting during the day, if I need it, and apparently I did. I gave myself permission to just rest, and not question it. I gave myself the gift of rest, because I could, without taking away from anything else that I needed to do, in that moment. I gave myself the gift of self-care and love and tenderness.

I was reminded, as I pondered, of a quote from A.A. Milne, who wrote about the adventures of one very wise bear. “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Winnie the Pooh.

Excellent advice, indeed.

gift of rest blocks