After (This is my January tree)
In preparation for possibly selling my house, I sorted and purged my Christmas decorations.
Did I really haul that around through at least six moves and every year up & down steps?!? Carrying all those boxes?
It is amazing how I mindlessly chose to spend my energy.
- Emotional energy – storing ornaments that meant nothing emotionally and then being overwhelmed by too much that my precious ones didn’t even get put on the tree. (My tree had zero ornaments this year.)
- Physical energy – Just thinking about how long I’ve had the excess and remembering where I lived when I bought it. Oh man, how much energy I could have saved if I hadn’t moved it and packed it.
- Financial energy – There was some I bought but not much. Most of the ones I am donating were gifts (Really were more emotional energy – because I felt bad just because they were a gift! )
Five boxes and a giant Christmas tree REDUCED TO two boxes and a small tree. 12 feet of floor space REDUCED TO 3 feet of floor space.
I had kept my mom’s old tree and her cardboard ornament box from when I was little. I am 53. Really!?! 50 years!?! Yes, it was time to release that energy back into the world.
The things I kept had a theme. Three small pieces from my childhood and the rest were memories that the boys and I made after I healed from the divorce. They support me, make me smile and remind me that I created a good family.
Going forward I feel empowered. I am storing my boys’ best memories instead of drowning in feelings of what could have or should have been.
(PS – yes, the “snow” under the tree is just pillow stuffing that the dog destroyed the other day – lol)
So how does one implement “REST” into an action?
My friends & family were waiting with anticipation when I said “I have picked a new word of the year and it’s…..”
(I mean, after THE YEAR OF YES and all its enormity, they were really expecting something big…)
And it was REST. I could see the letdown in their faces.
Then I saw their faces melt wistfully. Daydreaming about what REST felt like to them. I watched shoulders soften, eyes glaze over and jaws go slack. Then they looked back at me and said…HUH!??
REST means to me
- Not allowing thinking in my bed. I put a notebook on the end table and anytime a worrisome or to-do thought happens it gets jotted in the notebook. The first few days I was amazed at all the worry I brought to bed with me!
- Trying some new ideas for my bed. A couple nights I watched tv shows in bed instead of the chair.
- In the car – On the way to school and work, my son said, I wish I could tell you to REST now Mom but you’re driving. Ah ha! But I can REST while driving! After dropping him off, I listened to a Yoga Church Podcast, instead of plotting and planning the work day.
- At work – I enlisted the help of the staff to let me know when I was showing signs of stress or using the word STRESS instead of naming the emotion. This has been extremely valuable. I am frustrated, tired, sad, mad. It stops me and them. We pause and try to figure out a “feeling”. It is truly amazing that so many of us do not have language skills to describe our emotions. Just the word stress…..
- Dealing with my finances daily. I check my personal checking every morning, make adjustments and move on. It doesn’t hang over my head all day long that way.
- Asking (and letting) people help.
- Not Drinking – I just told my dog – Obviously you are not going to rest until I let you lick my plate. (don’t judge 😉 REST defined as an overwhelming thought process and agitation until goal is achieved. When achieved, relaxation, and in the dog world, napping on the couch. Sounds suspiciously like drinking to unwind and passing out. REST gives me the relaxation without going into panicked actions. If I hadn’t started letting the dog lick plates he wouldn’t be a beggar now. This is why abstaining from alcohol is better for me. It makes me less of a dog.
- And speaking of dog – REST means when I come home from work I stop and HUG THE DOG FOR ONE MINUTE. I used to race around, Where are the kids?! Have they eaten?! Close the blinds! Why are all the lights on?! Get the mail! I need to eat!!!!!! Now, drop my bags and hug it out.
I was hoping that REST wouldn’t become a lazy word of the year. I have to say,
I’m tired. I put everything on the line last year. I won.
I didn’t come this far to die from stress.
I said YES last year. All year.
Now I REST.