ExpatSalty at Home

Being Idle

posted by saltybug.com 27/07/2015 8 Comments
My Gran (who is awesome!) told me once that her dad always said to them that they were never to be idle. They must always be busy doing something, so in the evenings they must occupy themselves with reading, sewing, games etc. The kind of activities they used to do before TV and Smart Phones.
 
I remember when Gran told me this, that it made a lot of sense to me. I would achieve a lot more in my day if I was always active. If I was never idle.
That became my rule. 
 
I have been home for over a week now. 
I have done as the doctor and my body asked of me, I have been resting and getting a lot of sleep. I have to say I feel amazing. I knew I was exhausted, but I thought that was normal life being the primary carer for two small children, and trying to rule the world. I have been exhausted for years, and I think that especially since mid last year, even more so.
Being in hospital got me used to how it felt to let my body just, well, rest. I had to address the fears it brought up. The biggest? my fear of running out of time. Once I acknowledged this as the reason I never liked to stop and dealt with that, I relaxed and enjoyed the quiet. 
 
This past week I have built that rest into day-to-day life and I like it. I feel amazing. I don’t actually remember the last time I felt this good. I feel happy. I feel healthy. I have energy and my

 
You see, my Great Grandfather, when talking about never being idle, was referring to times when the family were sitting and actually resting. Sitting in the evenings, listening to the radio, they were also reading, doing needlework or playing games. 
 
For me, never being idle meant I was predominantly on my feet being physically busy. I rarely sat down. Even when I was having a cup of tea I was standing up and moving, doing something like the dishes or being over-stimulated with the shiny screens of my phone or laptop. Anything. The times I would sit I would be writing, studying, researching, menu planning or writing lists. Even when I was watching my TV shows like Breaking Bad, I was also menu planning, writing my schedule or ironing. My mind was still very switched on and active. 
 
The one activity I used to help me slow my mind, was sewing. Something I have not yet been able to do since being here in Manila. Quilting was my switch. The art is slow, considered, planned. You must pace yourself, you must not rush and I used it very well as my ‘space’. Even though often, I was sewing in-between cooking meals and tending to the children. 
 
It comes as no surprise that I suffer from insomnia. Something that developed in pregnancy which is normal, but it has never gone away. I often don’t go to bed until after midnight, and then if I am woken, or just wake up around 2.30am, that is it. I am awake and my mind is ticking over with zeal.
 
So, you see, things have to change. Getting Pneumonia was my body screaming out to me to listen because until then I was ignoring the signs. I have made a pact with my body, with my soul, that I will do more of this nurturing. I will spend longer in bed. I will find more time to be still, to be quiet, to rest my head.  

 

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8 Comments

Carol Graham 27/07/2015 at 1:57 pm

Beautifully stated. I was taught the same thing and am more busy now than I have ever been. Started two new careers in my 60's. But I am slowly learning how to relax and take an hour or two in the evenings for myself – and not feel guilty

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Salty Bug 27/07/2015 at 2:15 pm

Hi Carol, that's the thing – the guilt, like we are meant to be doing something productive. Today I sat outside on the grass while the kids and the dog played in the sand pit. It was great. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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Sakshi Raina 27/07/2015 at 9:50 pm

Times have changed so quickly since then. Life is much more busier and technology is overburdening our minds. I'm glad that you now know how important it is to rest as well and take care of your body.

It feels great to just close your eyes and sink in the moment and realize that everything is so perfect to be in and practice gratitude 🙂

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Salty Bug 27/07/2015 at 11:18 pm

So true! Thanks for stopping by.

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Sheryl Rose 28/07/2015 at 3:38 am

I have learned about resting your body several times over. You get caught up in trying to do everything at once. Example: Leaving one area to sit back down at the computer, stopping to vacume first. It took me a while with my husband "suggesting" that I sit down and don't overdue it. Work on it..you'll get there.

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Salty Bug 28/07/2015 at 7:21 am

That is so true Sheryl! I'll just do this before I sit down and three hours later your cleaning out the fridge! LOL
Thanks for your comment Sheryl!

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Marie Loerzel 30/07/2015 at 3:16 am

So glad to hear you're getting better and prioritizing idleness!

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Salty Bug 30/07/2015 at 10:21 pm

Ha! Yes, it is a new thing and I do quite fancy it. I even went out and brought myself a fancy tea cup so I can sit and drink my tea and feel like a lady…

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