Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering. ~Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne
How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward. ~Spanish Proverb
(Blog post authored by purdywords)
My family is in our fourth week of the school year, fall soccer is well underfoot and Baby Girl is officially a lover of all things ballet. The kids are happy, yet I’m barely staying afloat with all the expectations that come after 3:00 PM in a bustling household being taken over by Friday folders and signed papers, homework battles and fundraisers to promote, attempting to cook nutritious meals that match a delicate balance of life-threatening food allergies with a hint of young-kid pickiness. In a matter of two days, our weather has gone from the humid and sweltering 95 degrees to a cool and tolerable 65–perfect. Under the cloudiness, I’m no longer worried about applying sunscreen, but digging out sweatshirt layers for each little arm I clothe, reheating soup and warming pasta noodles for the bellies I’m charged with feeding. How quickly the seasons of life change before our eyes.
By the time my three hit the sack near 7:30 PM, I’m ready to climb into my own bed. But, alas! The dishwasher died a few weeks ago, so The Husband and I have been spending our nights finishing chores, exhausted from the days’ work and the arguing and tantrums that have become second-nature with The Girl. Honestly we are still climbing our way back from the emotional upheaval The Girl has been putting us through, her pinnacle reached only a few weeks ago when we thought we had nowhere left to turn. Yet, her tides finally crashed and she’s regained some of her level of normal—not a new normal, not a peaceful normal, yet a normal that is tolerable by comparison. Still, The Husband and I remain on guard for the next crest of high emotion and turmoil. We’ve not quite recovered from our tumultuous summer, and the residual effects remain in pieces of our every day.
Recognizing that I might be reaching burn-out, The Husband responded in-kind and for the first time, I felt no guilt for accepting his offer. So, dear fellow moms, please listen. When your husband offers you the priceless gifts of time and space, you graciously accept. For, he may know you better than you know yourself. The peace and quiet, calm and rejuvenation of just one day may be enough to carry you through, strengthening you for the journey ahead. No, I didn’t book any fancy spa treatments (although he told me to). No, I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, really. However, what I did do was finally make the time to see my doctor for a physical (it has been two years!) and then treated myself to brunch. I came home and opened all the windows in the house, ignored the breakfast dishes in the sink, and climbed the stairs into my bed for an hour-long nap. I read, prayed, and stretched. For lunch, I ate leftovers. I signed on to my computer with the intent to write for the first time in—I’m ashamed to say—more than a month and that is just what I did for the last hour. A homemade decaf chai tea beside me warmed my body in the chilly afternoon air, and the spicy scent and simple beauty of a burning pumpkin-scented soy candle warmed my senses with a calming peace. In less than an hour, I will retrieve The Boy from his bus stop, and together we’ll drive a mere ten minutes to pick up the girls from our care provider. Today’s afternoon drive will be different–I feel the change churning inside of me. For the first time in a long time, I will be rested for the journey before me, beginning with our Friday night soccer games, a restful peace remaining with me for the days ahead.