So, thanks to the financial markets we were closed at Lea yesterday and, I got to spend the day in bed. Nothing naughty; just relaxing and napping. But, as I woke from my final nap for the day (a mere few hours away from going to bed for the night) and took a shower, I couldn’t help but to think about the fact that I literally spent the day in bed. Think about it – the fact that one is able to do so, says quite a lot about the lives most of us live – the hectic paces we maintain and the toll it (obviously) takes on both our physical and mental selves.
Let me start by stating, I love what I do – all the parts that make up the life I wake up to every day. But, days like yesterday highlight the price we are called upon to pay for the lives we have mapped out for ourselves. Additionally, on the days that we are granted the ability to stop, we come to recognize just how much has been hiding within the folds of, “Bodies in motion stay in motion…” Wow. Listen, for a few moments let’s address what is on the other side of our ambitions, our drive and on the other side of the sacrifices we opt to make for the dreams we have.
I’ll start with the (slightly) more important – physical health. So many of us push ourselves past exhaustion – really, past common sense. So often we ignore the, what starts as, little aches and pains that then are exacerbated. Oftentimes we tell ourselves, “It’ll pass” and keep on going… well, that is until we’re stopped. You see, our bodies need attention and care – our bodies need our love in an effort to perform not only at its optimum, but certainly to continue to push past its (suggested) limits to achieve what we demand of it. The ironic thing is this – when our clothing is dirty, we will do laundry. We hear a “knocking” every time we mash the brake lever in our car, we take it to the mechanic. The “naps” are showing? We head to the hairstylist to have that shit perm’d (as if we’re fooling anyone into believing we do have some Cherokee in our heritage!) Lover coming to spend the night? Wax? Check. Wine? Check. Condoms? Check. Candles? Check? Snacks for the munchies… after? Check. Get my point? We pay close attention to so very many of the other details in our lives (some more important than others), making sure that we have what is needed to achieve our purposes, yet we ignore the most important component – our bodies. We primp and pamper the outside, constantly ignoring the inside. I mean, that is as silly and as useless as spraying on perfume/cologne on an unwashed body.
I very rarely stop. The concept of doing nothing is a difficult one for me to get comfortable with; I am more apt to choose action than inaction. Stopping means that I am not achieving something; thus, time wasted. So yesterday morning I got up and had a list of things that I should do – laundry, drop off dry cleaning, walk to the market to get some fruit, flowers, plants, find the grocery store in my new ‘hood, do some shopping – a good, respectable list. Instead, I went back to bed. I listened to my body. So, what did I do yesterday? Nothing on that list. I took care of myself and got some (clearly) much-needed rest. The funny thing about all of this is, I had absolutely no idea I was so tired. And, if yesterday were a work day, I would have gotten up, gotten it up, gone to work and performed (well). I would have called upon both my physical and mental selves to maintain the rhythm I have demanded of them for, well, years. I would not have heard, thus ignored what I truly needed… rest.
Now, on to our social selves. Never mistake that how we take care of ourselves socially is of (much) lesser importance than our physical well-being. Naturally, I am not speaking about either the binge partying or drinking, no. I am addressing the interactions that are thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating, sensual, those that are chock full of hilarity, the ones that promote movement – whether through dancing, exercising or excitement, you get the idea, right? The encounters we are dropped into our lives to have. Indeed, taking care of ourselves mentally goes neck-to-neck with ensuring we both listen to and hear what our bodies are saying. Believe me when I tell you that the ill-health of one always (eventually) impacts the well-being of the other!
Listen, while you fling yourselves head-long into the dreams and plans you have laid out for your life, recognize the utter simplicity in this statement, “You will need to be healthy and here in order to execute and enjoy same.” So, include periodic wellness checks on that calendar of yours and, for the in-between times, please pay close attention – your mind and body will absolutely let you know what they need. Then, attend to it as diligently as you attend to the other trappings you place such store in.
Implement this simple rule – Rest when you need to. Test if you have to.