It's okay to sit down

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I haven't been feeling well lately, so I decided to sit out on my deck yesterday afternoon and just have a breather.

I never do this.

Don't ask me why I feel guilty just sitting down and doing nothing in the middle of the day. I need to get over this.

Anyway, I was sitting there in a reclining lawn chair having this argument with myself.

"So-and-so is helping her aged parents today. So-and-so is busy teaching piano. So-and-so is working . . . so-and-so is painting her whole house. All by herself. And here you sit, doing nothing." Blah, blah, blah.

I felt the warm sun on my face. The light breeze caught the wind chimes. I watched a blue jay fly up to the top of a tree and wondered about what kind of nest his little family has. I looked at the flowers on my deck, pink and yellow, and stubbornly cheerful in the face of my dark mood.

I have a choice, I thought. 

I can spend this time feeling guilty, and ruin the little pleasure I have here, or I can embrace it as a gift and enjoy the sun, the flowers, the birds.

The feeling of "I'm not enough," or "I'm not doing enough" is so common. Why is it that when you actually do take time to stop and smell the roses you feel like a slacker?

I shared these feelings with my daughter when we were shopping together last week. She found me a coffee mug that made me laugh out loud.

"I'm too pretty to work" (and, yes, that's a stroopwafel on the top of the mug, a traditional Dutch cookie with caramel inside that melts as the steam from the coffee rises).
There's always plenty of work to do, but it really is okay to relax. In the middle of the day even. Remind yourself. You are enough. Bless the Giver of the sun on your face and accept it with gratitude.

28 comments :

  1. A wonderful post, my husband and I often have a little breather or a trip out in the middle of the day.

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  2. I am so glad you posted this...and it's so well written. Thanks for giving me "permission" to do the same. Love the mug and what's inside (although I've never heard of that before). HUGS!

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  3. We had guests on Sat. and ever since, we have pretty much taken it easy. It's easy to feel guilty. Today I have enjoyed the wind chimes below my window and the pretty sunshine. Have a good evening.

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  4. Oh, I so needed this today. I had to have emergency eye surgery this past Friday for torn retinas in both eyes. I can't bend at the waist, cannot lift over 5# and cannot exercise for 6 weeks. It was all so shocking and has rocked my world but I can do a whole lot to care for my sight. Great post!

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    1. Oh no!! That must have been so traumatic to go through! I'm glad you were able to catch this and take care of it. Well, you definitely need to sit and take care of yourself. Blessings to you and prayers for a complete recovery. xo

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  5. Oh, Deborah, I hear ya! I have been running myself ragged lately with busyness. I feel guilty when I turn down a request from a friend to babysit so that I can just relax at home or have coffee with a friend. I feel like I'm being lazy to slow it down. As a result, I continually accept all opportunities to serve, and it has really taken a toll on my health. My body is yearning for some quiet. Thankfully, a good friend pointed this out to me last week. She made me understand that I am believing the LIE that I must be busy all the time, lest I be considered lazy.

    Enjoy your still moments, my friend. They are good for you!

    Blessings,
    Patti

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  6. Yes, I often feel the same way; my mother before me did as well, but my grandmother took two hours morning and afternoon to read or play the piano. I think I am finally pretty close to that. Glad that you took a break and I hope that you take time every day.

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  7. I'm right with you! Prone to feelings of guilt when I'm not doing, doing, doing. It's such a tough habit of thought to break, isn't it?!?

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  8. Such a wonderful reminder to enjoy the little things! Thank you for being "real"!

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  9. Beautifully written, Debbie....and so,so,so,so TRUE! In taking time to relish the small things, we can truly appreciate the big things! XOXO

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  10. I struggle with this, too. Even though I know better! I LOVE the coffee mug that your daughter found. If I ever find one, it will be mine. It would get a lot of laughs around my house. Your post reminds me of an episode of The Waltons (remember that show?) when the grandma and mom were tired out after working hard all morning on a very hot day. They decided to sit for a few minutes on their front porch and take a little rest. The grandma said "I hope no one from the church drives by and sees us just sitting here in the middle of the day." Loved it so much because it rang so true... we DO feel that way!

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  11. Hello Deborah, I know I sometimes feel that way too. There are a million things you could be doing but just sitting in your yard and enjoying yourself during the summer is jus the best. That is what I love about the summer.
    Take it easy and enjoy the rest of the week. Have a Happy 4th of July.
    Julie xo

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  12. I echo what everyone has said here. Taking some time to have R & R during a day has surprising results. Not only do we re-charge our body, mind and spirit, but one gains an appreciation for all that is unseen around us while we're so busy DOING! Surprisingly, once the R & R is done, we realize the world has continued to spin! Please be good to yourself, Deborah. Your words mean so much to so many.
    Rosie

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  13. Thank you for a wonderful post--wise words. Something that's very hard for me to do but I'm trying to change that. My goal is to spend an hour at least reading each afternoon. I rarely meet that goal but at least I try.

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  14. You what's the saddest commentary on this whole situation? Your opening statement of not feeling well. Why is it we even have to feel 'bad' before we allow ourselves to rest and try to feel good, when all we end up feeling is guilty (and bad)? I do the same thing, that's why I say this. Mon-Wed of this week were headache days for me, and it was hard to push through the pain to function, let alone get anything done. I woke up feeling good today and am rarin' to go. Love your mug, and love taking the opportunity to do nothing. Let's feel good about doing nothing!

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  15. Amen, Deborah! We all need to just rest, relax and breathe, and no excuses are needed. The mug is just darling that your sweet daughter gave you. Hope you'll feel better soon. xo

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  16. I agree that we all need to take time to smell the flowers - which slows us down and helps with relaxation. That's why chairs and benches in a garden are so important, one must sit and enjoy the rewards of their labour without feeling guilty.
    xx

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  17. Your mug cracked me up! Another saying that I like to use when I'm thinking of doing something naughty is, "I'm too cute to go to jail!".

    I'm in complete agreement that we all need some rest and relaxation!

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  18. I think it is hard to just sit still and relax, if I do that for long, I'll go to sleep! I tell my husband that if I sit down, I'll fall asleep, so I just keep going, lol. A good reminder though to all of us, that we need to take that time to sit, relax, and enjoy the beauty around us! Hope you get to feeling better!

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  19. I've discovered it's only with age and experience that we are able to say what you just said. When we're young WE are the most important thing on Earth. We don't have TIME to enjoy the simple things. Now, I understand. You are so right. Stop everything and look & listen to the beautiful nature around us. Maybe for the 1st time ever you will actually HEAR the birdsong. Just BEAUTIFUL>

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  20. It seems that most of us feel the same way. When my children were little, I read or sewed while they napped, and then I initiated a quiet time after lunch when they outgrew their naps. It was lovely to have the housework completed in the morning, then a 1-2 hour break, followed by whatever. Developing those easy rhythms is a goal of mine, even though I'm back teaching.
    I hope you feel better soon.

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  21. Dearest Deborah,
    Well, you are so right about that, we at times have to shift gears and SIT STILL and feed our eyes and soul. I did that mid May when my lower leg was so swollen. It did me good and I managed to read my magazines from 2015 and 2016 and scan the things I wanted to save from them, for posting on my Pinterest boards. Than I called our cat-sitter who's a widow that lives off a little budget and gifted her with all the magazines, loose pages inserted again. Made me feel good!
    Also did gather certain things for giving away, to make other people happy with an unexpected little gift coming their way.
    There are other days when we can shift gears to full force forward and we utilize them.
    Your mug is precious!
    Happy 4th of July to all of you.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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  22. Sometimes it's hard to stop pushing ourselves to finish that 'to-do' list or to stop comparing ourselves to others who seem to accomplish so much. I think if you ask most people, they would say they are totally stressed out and wish they had more time to relax. It's hard to find the balance, but it is so important for our health, both physically and mentally. I made a New Year's resolution one year to take more naps. Did I do it? No, but I still think it is a good goal! haha! Love your mug! xx Karen

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  23. Just found your blog...when I checked my Facebook feed today this came up and it fits with your post - "We Americans are proud of our work ethic—perhaps too proud. We tend to value our work and busyness so much that we forget how to be still enough to hear God’s quiet voice. We need leisure—not frenetic vacationing or compulsive recreational activities, but simple rest when we can unplug and think. In today's Gospel Jesus says, “I will give you rest.” That doesn't just mean eternal rest--- we don’t have to wait until we’re dead to enjoy it! Why not today?" It was on a page I follow from the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Looking forward to exploring your blog - I just began blogging ! Have a great and RESTFUL week !

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  24. Oh so very true! I'm a "doer" too and am always pushing myself. I'm trying to learn to slow down and enjoy the beauty around me, which is also a very important activity. And that coffee and cookie is making me HUNGRY.

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  25. I, too, have suffered the guilt of being a homemaker. I've held jobs along the way but nothing newsworthy and certainly none that created a pension or more than a pittance of social security. Guilt started when Mom's started going back to work and gave me the side eye that I was "still staying home." How many times have I dodged the question, "what do you do for a living?" or even worse, "what do you do ALL day?" Even my husband has thrown zingers over the years, though his career choice to move a gazillion times had an impact on my ability to network and find my niche. Needless to say, my self-esteem has suffered. For years I never allowed myself a lunch out or movie in the middle of the day. If everyone else was working then by God, I better be working, too, so busy, busy I stayed. Thirty years passed before I woke up and realized I deserve to live life my way. I deserve an afternoon frozen yogurt, lunch with a friend, my morning yoga. I deserve to shop wisely and without the guilt that I have time to do so. I've wasted so much life feeling guilty. I like to think my pension is knowing I raised successful and well rounded children. That I moved into multiple homes and kept our family intact and emotionally adjusted. That I was good. When I lay on my death bed I hope God will look favorably on me because I gave fully and loved my family and friends. I'm okay, if you're okay, Debbie. We're okay, right?

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    1. Jill - you are definately okay!!! You are much MORE than okay. Hugs.

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  26. This is a GREAT post, Deborah. And so so true - guilt sucks. : - )

    Life is too precious not to savor. Guess what? The dust will be here when we're through resting our souls, right?

    Love you.

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