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  • Writer's pictureSharon Uy

#31. Resisting Rest - A Rushed Rant

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

I've lost the will to rest.

I no longer hold in my body the knowledge of extended breaks. What I used to call "fucking off" for any amount of time was really a denigration, I see now, a yielding to those who thought me to be lazy, too carefree. And in the vein of that conformity, it was also a refusal to acknowledge what time off really was, is: not a fucking off, but a nurturing of the soul, and creating work life imbalance. I'd forgotten, and am learning again, that work and life should never be balanced. It should be more life, less work.

I used to know this deep in the marrow of my bones to the tips of my split ends. I used to breathe it in full gulps of salty sea air and feel it in the welcome delirium of jet lag.

I used to dream exclusively of nonsensical things that had no connection to the waking world. Last night, I dreamt I was telling a friend, who was probably not interested, about this idea, that was probably not novel, for using Internal Family Systems in working with this one particular couple. Even in sleep, rest has become elusive. Devices have become extra appendages, and suffering takes very quick root.

I encouraged, begged myself to take these past four days to do nothing but rest.

Especially after reading Rest is Resistance by Tricia Hersey and agreeing with 98% of what she had to say, even heeding her counsel and napping in the sun as soon as I finished the last page.

Especially after hearing, over the course of many days and nights, the warning refrain from at least a few voices within (and without) to "Take a break for fuck's sake! You're going to lose it sooner than later. Rest, Self!"

While I have somehow managed to free myself from revenge sleep procrastination, I am still living the rest of my life like a kid who resists nap time. And we know what happens when a kid doesn't get a nap in. It's hell for everyone. A tired toddler with a to-do list, that's me. Reading at least four books at one time, keeping up with lectures for training, I could go on, but suffice it to simply say, blah, blah, blah!

The wild astrologer man from my time in Croatia resurfaces in memory, and his message rings, again, very loudly:

"You! create! your own! hell!"

There's a much different context now than when he shared this with me then, but the truth of the message still applies.

The hell of my own creation is this grind I've become accustomed and attached to, reliant upon. Even the word itself - grind! - conjures up a tightening of the jaw. My early Christmas wish this year is to relearn how to relax. To release any attachment to the idea of early-ish (ha!) retirement, to extricate myself from this inane system hustling as the sole means of survival in this world, and reclaim the wisdom of knowing what it is, when the body asks gently and not only when it screams in agony, to rest.

as always, with love and thanks,


PS. It's a flag bearing an upside-down, unmade bed. In case you were wondering.

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