This is what my past couple of days have looked like.
It's so chilly and rainy and gloomy here in Portland, all I want to do is snuggle in. So do the kitties. I laid on the couch alllll day yesterday with Juneau right next to me, reading The Gifts of Imperfection
by Brené Brown
. I don't know why I didn't pick this book up sooner. It's pretty much like Brené wrote it just for me!
It's funny, because I actually had some work that I planned on getting done yesterday, but the couch felt like it was literally pulling me onto it. So I bargained with myself: Ryan gets the morning off from work, so I'm allowed to take the morning off, too. Meanwhile, my ego told me I was lazy, that I should be working working working (always!), that I didn't deserve to rest.... this is my constant inner loop. Stay busy! Be as productive as possible! Resting is for chumps! Are you laughing yet? You're either thinking I'm totally ridiculous, or you can totally relate. (I'm betting it's the latter.)
But I pushed through the guilt I was feeling over not working and instead laying on the couch reading a book, being "lazy" and "indulgent" (or so my ego told me), and I started in on The Gifts of Imperfection.
My guilt began to melt away as I read. I learned that it's not actually guilt I was feeling, but shame. Oh, that word!! Just saying it aloud feels scary. And embarrassing. IT's such a loaded word, you know? But I learned that this particular type of shame is related to being a perfectionist. I've never really thought of myself as a perfectionist-- but, I think it turns out that I am. I expect myself to BE perfect: have the perfect body, be able to work 15 hours a day and cook dinner and exercise and keep the house clean and be crafty and creative and amaaaaazing ALL.THE.TIME. And when I don't live up to that, I feel ashamed. I'm not good enough. I don't do enough. Blahgitty blah blah blah. I imagine you might relate to these feelings as well... am I right?
Anyway, my day on the couch reading a book was exactly what I needed. I've been working hard for YEARS. I moved across the country 6 months ago and began a new life in Portland, and I don't think I've fully given myself time to process it. It's been a busy holiday season full or printing and packaging orders, buying gifts for family, running errands, a craft show.... and it's ok to rest. Like, REALLY rest-- rejuvenating rest. I don't mean zoning out in front of the tv after a long day's work-- I mean reading books and taking naps and writing in my journal and taking care of myself for REAL.
For me, that also involves making stuff in the kitchen. I don't give myself enough time to fool around in the kitchen, because it's not work, so it seems frivolous. I'm starting to see that the "frivolous" things are really where my life is. It's not allll about working all the time.
On Wednesday I made some dehydrated kale chips (above)-- delicious and healthy! I made a mixture of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, miso, soaked cashews, and nutritional yeast and mixed that up with a bunch of torn kale pieces, then put it all in the dehydrator for about 15 hours. Scrumptious. (Based on a recipe I got from my mother-in-law last year.)
I also made some comfrey-calendula salve, based on this recipe
, after a trip to The Herb Shoppe
. One of my weaknesses is herb shops and apothecaries. I can spend so much time browsing, and I always come home with piles of herbs and other things to make delightful concoctions! I should show you a photo of all my glass jars full of herbs and teas and things-- it makes me happy just thinking about it!
And the Christmas tree makes everything around our house feel festive. Here's my favorite ornament:
Santa hanging on the moon. :)
So. Rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation is the name of the game for me right now, especially on this solstice and last day of the Mayan "long count" calendar. The hour has arrived
... the dawn of a new world and a new way of being. May it fill you with abundance, hope, beauty, and love.