Down time

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I am loving my extended holiday!  Marathon sleep ins, virtually no commitments, the ability to potter and pootle for extended periods of time.  Bliss.  How can I make my life more like this more of the time? This isn’t idle speculation.

There’s some substance to this question.  Firstly, let’s take the issue of the marathon sleep ins.  I’ve been off work since 23 December, and I’m still pulling ten hour stretches.  This reminds me that a) I have always needed a lot of sleep but more importantly b) I was way more exhausted than I thought I was.  Thinking back on 2016 from the vantage point of deep rest, I can see why.  Two bereavements, one attempted suicide and one life threatening health crisis within my inner circle.  Plus learning a new and quite difficult job which I didn’t enjoy all that much, even if it was in my field.  And, the background hum of baggage waiting to be dealt with.  Finally I realise I hadn’t had a holiday for at least two years.  This is one of the side effects of chronic short term contract hopping.  You never feel like you can say no when an offer comes along.

I desperately wanted to say no to the latest, but at least I got a delayed start.  And while I would rather have had a flop and drop holiday somewhere else, where I am not constantly looking around the house and thinking ‘Oh I should fix that’, it’s the best I can do.  And yet, I am still working.  I spent yesterday writing lecture material for the other job, and I will spend part of the today working on the thesis-to-book revision.

I am doing some sewing as well.  There’s lots of things I love about sewing, not the least of which is the texture and handle of fabric.  I’ve had to back off a little bit, because I was starting to treat it like work.  With a schedule and a plan and an imposed sense of ‘having to be good enough’ when actually, it’s supposed to be fun.  When I shouldn’t be getting all out of shape over the things that go inevitably wrong when you are a novice sewer like me.

So finally I turned to the project that I started this blog with, the rose based meditation deck.  One night when I was feeling a bit tired I managed to get some words out, but yesterday when I tried it felt so constrained and stilted.  You’d think that some short texts like that would be easy.  They so aren’t.

I found myself back in the old territory.  Who do you think you are? Telling others how to live?  You can’t… and you don’t…I froze.  Here are my thawing words.

I’m an ordinary human being who mostly finds the world baffling.  I write to make sense of life, to find a way to hang on and keep going through the confusion and the trouble.  I am not that different to others, although their troubles will take different shapes.  We are more alike than we are different so there is a mild possibility that my words will supply at the very least, a sense of recognition.  A sense of camaraderie.  I’d like my words to descend like a blanket of kindness, allowing my reader to soften in compassion.

If I had a wish for this year, that would be it.  May we all soften with compassion for ourselves and for others who are suffering.  Let there be more beauty, more kindness and more creativity in the world.

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