The truth is we all need a time out, time out to re-evaluate, find balance, heal, detox, and time to breathe. – Michael Baisden
This past weekend I attended a folk music festival. It is the one thing my husband and I look forward to most during the summer. A weekend full of great weather, delicious food, and best of all, hearing music that we have never heard of and loving it. I have certainly made adaptations over the years. I purchased a scooter so that I could get from hill to hill without being too exhausted. I sit low on the hills so there is not so much climbing. I also usually rest up for a few days before hand to store up some energy. This year that didn’t happen and I thought I would write a post to show what happens when this necessity does not happen.
At the end of July, I went on a holiday to British Columbia to spend some time with family. It was lovely but it was also super hot. Whenever I travel, I am off of my normal routine. Staying in someone else’s home, even though they do everything to make it comfortable for me, is always draining. I try to tell myself to just take it easy. However, that is not what it is for me to travel anymore. Easy. Not that I want to stop doing it. I just have to remember it takes me a bit to bounce back. I was home for a few days, and my father and his wife came to stay with us for a week. They were lovely guests and we didn’t do a lot. Hung out outside, went for walks with the dog, and just chatted. It was also really hot and smoky from forest fires in other provinces. I love to have company. Don’t get me wrong about that. I love seeing people and socializing. As time goes on though, it still puts me off my routine. I don’t do things that I would normally do like go lay down for a bit in the afternoon or just make soup for supper if I am tired. I always want to be a good hostess. The need to please always rears its ugly head. What is the most frustrating part is that I know that company would not care if I went to take a break or if I didn’t make a great meal one night. That is all my doing. All in all, I had a great visit with my family. I just needed some time to recoup after they left. But that did not happen. They left Friday afternoon, and Saturday at 8 am we were on our way to folk fest. That day was cooler which was a blessing. We saw several bands that were fantastic. That evening around 6, the rain started. Although heat is not great for me, what is worse is quickly changing temperatures. From 33 degrees on Friday to 11 degrees on Saturday, my body started to revolt. Things stiffened up, my walking became mechanical and my emotions were all over the place. The next day was Sunday, and it was raining when I woke up. And what did I do? I soldiered on. We went to folk fest and sat in the pouring rain from 10 am to 9 pm. Music was good. I was a mess. I kept telling myself, “This coming week I can just sleep and rest.” I had images of myself drinking tea in with a quilt and snuggling with my cat.
Here comes the reality of what it looks like for me after a month of pushing too hard. It does not contain tea, quilts or cuddles with my cat. It is me beating myself up about why did I do that to myself? Yelling at my husband for everything not being put away quick enough. Me crying about the fact that I do not have enough energy to go out and dead head my plants. I have read for so long about self-love. Be kind to yourself go listen to music. Be kind to yourself and visit with people. What I have learned about myself now is that I need to change my outlook on what self kindness is for me. For me right now in my life, I need some part of me to take charge and lay down some hard-line boundaries. To say, I need longer than a week after holidays to have company. I need someone to say, “It is pouring rain today. We are not going out to sit in that for 11 hours.” I have decided that person is a part inside of me that I usually silence. I am going to let her out and try my best to listen to her. That is what self kindness is going to look like for me for a little while. I think I am going to name her Lucy and she is going to lock my timeline down for me.
Self kindness needs to change at times. I am a really social person. Always have been and probably always will be. My nature says “Go to the concert.” “Have people stay with you.” “Travel all you want.” Just because I was not sky diving and rock climbing on my holidays, I need to acknowledge that doing all of the stuff in a month is too much. Even if I don’t think I am doing too much, I am going to listen to my body and this body of mine is smart. It sends me signals when I have pushed farther than I should. My vision gets blurry, I get short with people, my brain feels foggy. I am going to try my best to listen to my body and to allow Lucy to step in when I am refusing to listen.
We change. We have to stop trying to live as if we don’t.
I am including a song that I heard at folk fest by my favorite find for 2018, John Craigie. He seems to know what I am talking about.