From mid-December to January, I go into a cave, a place of retreat. I laze around, wear sleepwear for more of the day, watch more TV; withdraw. I leave work things alone, sleep deeper and hopefully longer. I reach a place of contentment, de-stress, relax, let go. When I taught in schools this was the time when I became ill. All term I had been giving it my all so I didn’t allow my body to rest. When I did so my body said, “Thanks for that but now you’re not doing anything so here’s a nasty cold for your trouble.”
We all need time for letting go physically and mentally. The trouble is it’s such a glorious contented feeling to stop for a while that it’s hard to resurface. You know you have to get back to normality but something inside you wants to stay in that laid-back place of lethargy.
Maybe we dream that retirement one day will feel like that. And yet we know that doing nothing all the time might become boring. There comes a moment when the batteries are recharged and it’s time to go again. You can find excuses to put it off just a little but you know you have to live in the real world of work again.
Whether you love the work or not it needs your focus, your full attention if you are doing it properly. I think it’s a question of energy. In order to have that energy you also need to completely relax and wind down. Then the renewal should bring a surge that brings you back to “all systems go.” In the old days there were two ways to go swimming – head-first or a step at a time. I’m a head-first sort of person because I don’t like the “ouchness” of the water gradually rising. I’m of the let’s get on with it NOW approach. I love the work and I know it needs high energy but in the back of my mind I know there is that cave. When I’m in the cave I shut out all thoughts of returning to work which is why this time of starting again is tricky. So, this time my all systems go was to write the above. Now I’m buzzing again.
Whatever approach you use in your life I wish you happy new year although if you are bringing up children you probably only got to the cave entrance.
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