I’ve gotten into the idea of rest and what it means for us that rest is so absent from our society, what it means for me that I’m part of a discipline where rest is seen as optional, to be part of an educational pedagogy where resting is seen as frivolous and optional, where the impossible is endlessly demanded of me.
It seems that in a world that doesn’t know how to be still I am unable to rest.
My body needs rest, craves rest. Still it also doesn’t know what that feels like.
By going back to school I accepted that I was going to be pushed to the brink mentally and physically a lot of the time, that the hobbies that keep me going and time and space to meander that make me content would be gone. I don’t know why I am expected to give up so much of myself and my life by being at UBC.
I am a human. I need rest. We all do.
Today I was feeling tired. I’m not sure why. I am cutting back on coffee because various people who are involved in professions related to my well-being (including numerous doctors and two therapists) have suggested that I drink far too much of it and that perhaps that is linked to my anxiety and insomnia.
I don’t disagree so I am attempting to cut back.
It’s painful. I think it’s gonna take several attempts. The mornings are harder and slower.
I don’t miss the feeling of being buzzed from alcohol (I don’t drink these days). I’m already tired and out of it enough of the time. I don’t need substances to do that. I can get there all on my own. I do love the feeling of sharpness, focus and energy that coffee gives me.
Still, as someone who has never been able to sit still and has generally had trouble sleeping perhaps it’s a bit much. I feel like I’m vibrating.
This past year all my established wellness rituals died fast. In my SALA life coffee was a substitute for taking breaks and sleeping. When I couldn’t focus I drank coffee. When I was exhausted I drank coffee. When I was overwhelmed I drank coffee. When I needed to be on and wasn’t I drank coffee.
I wasn’t drinking coffee because I loved it but because I didn’t have time to take care of myself. Coffee is not a substitute for rest or wellbeing.
I know I need to be gentle with myself as I ride the rocky road of shaking that easy kick in the morning. I no longer have any caffeinated coffee at home and the mornings are much harder. I miss that feeling.
When I first got the suggestion that maybe I should think about cutting coffee I was resistant. I was raised on a steady diet of Gilmore Girls. I’ve already lost enough parts of myself recently I didn’t want to lose that too. I am the coffee girl, the one who drinks far more coffee than is reasonable.
But I am also the girl who is very logical and likes research and evidence based decision making so here we are. I will try and it will be rough.
The point I started with, my digressions have digressions, I felt like I couldn’t stay home all day even if I felt crappy. Granted I don’t want to live my life if I feel lousy, because feeling lousy is just a part of life. I couldn’t tell which thing my body wanted from me. Go out or stay home. It’s hard to tell.
I feel like every day I need to be useful and productive and do stuff. I finished two books today yet that doesn’t feel like much. I organized and cleaned.
Still it’s not enough.
The summer as much as it’s a time to rest is a really short window to do all the stuff I don’t have time for during the semester. I have all these ideas and interests and if I’m not making myself useful then it’s a waste right?