Being gentle

Although it is now officially autumn, the weather around where I live has trouble catching up.  The mornings are starting to be cool and fresh, with a crispness that warrants a jumper but the afternoons are still stir-crazy hot, with bright blue skies and a beach like feel.  We’ve started to get the odd shower and spell of grey skies but it is still difficult to fathom that next week, we’re moving into October.

With kids being back at school and the weather being what it is, germs and bugs abound.  And two weeks ago, I caught one.  A deceptively simple cold, which has left me knocked for six.

If truth be told, I didn’t exactly stop to nurse my cold.  I ran a 5 k race two days after getting sick.  It was my first race and a couple of friends came down especially to run it with me so I couldn’t really back out of it.  Running is hard work.  Running in beach-hot weather is hard work.  Running with a blocked nose and about 2 hours sleep is harder still.  I made it to the finish line, walking when I couldn’t run anymore, and resuming running when things got better.  Proud of myself…but the cost was high.

I should have rested then but I still turned up for our every-other day run twice, which, added to my run-around schedule of walking to school 4 times a day (6 on a Monday) in between work and remediation sessions for Littleman, basically ran me into the ground.

I forfeited my run on Friday night and when I woke up on Saturday morning, my body let me know that it would appreciate it tremendously if I could just stay put for, let’s say, a day or two.  My monthly meditation workshop took place that very morning and I had so been looking forward to it but my body made it very clear that if I pushed myself and dragged it to the workshop, I would end up paying a much higher price.

So for once, I listened to my body, gave the workshop a miss, snuggled in bed and rested for the rest of the day.  I did sneak in two rounds of washing that needed doing but basically shirted everything else.  Today, I feel a little better but I still feel in need of rest.  Next week is going to be taxing so I’ve decided to be gentle and give my body some more time to recuperate.  I have a couple of chores on my to-do list but other than that, I’m going to park myself on the couch and veg.

I can’t help but wonder why we find it so difficult to listen to our bodies and be gentle with ourselves.  We are willing to push our bodies to their limits in order to keep up and perform what we want them to do but when our bodies need us, we are strangely deaf to their cries.  I firmly believe there is a lesson in everything.  Today, I am learning to be gentle with myself and listen to my body.  It will be a slow process, undoing years of running my body ragged and ignoring its cries.  But it is essential work.  And I am worth it.  Wish me luck!