It's been an interesting week. After the crash and burn of last Sunday, I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying over how to do life now. From as far back as I can remember, I've been a go-er and a do-er. Accomplishment- and achievement-oriented from the word go. Always in motion. Caring for those I love. Spending myself for them. Never without something to do. Boredom is an unknown to me. "Being" is an art I have not learned well. "Needing" is a formidable hurdle for me.
With that being the framework of my life, I am facing a paradigm shift. In fact, I'm in the middle of it.
I HAVE to slow down. I CANNOT do what I once did. Period.
Okay, I'm asking myself, what does that look like? How do I do it?
Well, my doctor gave me a guideline that I had put on the back burner....typical of me, I'm afraid, when it comes to the "doing" part of my life. He said that I need to limit myself to doing 50-70% of what I normally feel I can do, probably closer to the 50% mark, in an attempt to limit the stress factor and promote healing. Last week I pushed myself way beyond that, probably somewhere in the 100% range. On Sunday, my body said, "Enough already!" and down I went.
So, for the past few days, I have worked at that 50% thing. Making my to-do list, prioritizing, and then crossing off half of it. It's an interesting exercise. By today, I kinda had the hang of what I could do before I made the list. It was short. :-) I've also worked at the resting thing. Getting to bed earlier, lying down for a rest in the afternoon. And the slowing down thing, purposely poking along through my day, rather than racing.
A couple of things have hit me in the past few days. Because I have to dial back -- way back -- I am looking at what I must do and what I can do, and casting aside the other stuff. It gives definition to my days. I must care for myself. I can cook and do laundry and clean the house for my family. Beyond that, I often must say "no."
I feel in some ways as if I'm restarting my life as a wife and mom, focusing on making home a delightful place for my husband and daughter who are the ones going out and working. Because I can't help pay the bills with employment, I have the blessing of trying to create a refuge for them for their hours here. By dialing back, I am focusing on the elemental things of hearth and home. And it feels good.
Today I had a rather intriguing experience. I was slowly dusting the sideboard, a beautiful piece that once belonged to my grandmother, and realized that I could enjoy the process of cleaning it and maintaining its loveliness, rather than racing through it as simply a task needing to be done. Wow.
So, there are a lot of other thoughts going through my head from my thinking and praying this week, but I'm going to stop now and maybe write more on another day. It's time to start winding down. :-)