Saturday night at 7:00 I went to pick my daughter up from a birthday party. At 7:30 I began to feel the shimmering of a migraine. By 8:00 I was in a hot bath and then bed. My head hurt so badly I had to turn off all the lights, even the ones outside my bedroom door lest even a sliver make its way to my eyelids. I lay there for hours, an arm covering one side of my face, and prayed for sleep. Sunday was better but the migraine remained in the background, sort of threatening to come back.
Here it is Monday morning. My kids are finally back in school after what feels like months at home with snow (it's actually been weeks).
I have this enormous urge to get things done. I should declutter more, tackling the minimalism checklist I signed on for earlier this month.
I should clean. The house if filthy. Toilets are screaming their siren songs.
I could grocery shop in advance of mid-week, when I run out of food and the mental capacity to meal plan.
I should workout, too, as the last week has been spent flopped in yoga pants and not doing said yoga.
But it is Monday and here I sit, in a plaid bathrobe, with my beloved slippers, a stack of books beside me and the kettle ready to whistle for a cup of tea.
I'm doing nothing. I'm resting. The migraine is still there, taking up space just behind my right eye and creeping down the back of my neck. It is warning me, ever-so-subtly, to be careful. If I get up and start scrubbing toilets and making grocery lists and doing crunches, I will be back in bed at 7pm, my arm over my eye, begging my people to turn off the lights.
Yet, there is this nagging feeling, a little pang of guilt, that I'm not doing my job, that I'm not being productive, that I'm not busy.
When did we stop appreciating our ability to rest? When did we stop listening to our bodies and feeling guilty when the message is clear: get some rest, lest you overwhelm yourself and end up worse off than when you started?
Nothing I have to do today is life-or-death. I called and made necessary medical appointments for my kids. Other than that, I'm good. If worse-comes-to-worse, dinner can come down to sandwiches and apple slices. The toilets will tolerate one more day of use. My abdominals will still hold my body upright without ten minutes of attention.
I'm good here. I can rest.
If I'm lucky, the migraine will fade entirely. I'll go pick up my kiddos from school and blast the radio as we ramble along our country roads and careen into the driveway. I'll announce: Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies For SNACK!
There are times we don't have choices. We have work and kids and responsibilities that really are life-and-death or pay-the-mortgage-dependent. And then there are times when we can sit in a plaid bathrobe and soft slippers, a book at our side, and a cup of tea pressed against our temple for warmth.
I am grateful on this slightly overcast Monday morning to have the choice to close my eyes and rest. I hope if anyone else out there is feeling slightly less-than, you get a chance to close your eyes, sip some tea (or coffee or wine) and take a break, even if it's just five minutes.