Monday, September 9

Put Your Feet Up oh!

Having worked hard all day, driven (most likely and very possibly) in some bad traffic, you would think we would arrive home and take it easy. Oh no! We immediately jump into some other tasks waiting to be completed; start dinner, straighten the room we were unable to straighten in the morning rush, set out the outfit for the morrow, and a million other things just waiting to be done…
 It seem to me that there be one too many (if I may be allowed to use the word) vicious circles in our daily lives. Taking time out to rest is almost a taboo; unthinkable. It brings up that feeling of guilt!
Let’s start with an example: I was a short holiday trip recently and on one of the days, we agreed to have a nap, and afterwards go for a walk. My friend got into bed and slept off. I tried but I couldn't readily fall asleep, so I alternated between checking emails (work) on my laptop, responding to chats on BBM, and delving into twitter on the iPad, (I am deliberately mentioning these devices) generally going back and forth on all devices, the laptop being on a table away from the bed…needless to say, jumping back and forth, I was disturbing she who understood the value of rest.
At a point, I decided to shut off all the devices and try to sleep. I still could not. But do you know what I did? I told myself to lie still in bed, and really just rest. As much as my mind whispered all the things I could achieve while I laid there doing nothing, I absolutely refused to. For 2 hours, I stayed on that bed, not sleeping, but doing nothing either! (I tried hard not to toss and turn though!)
This struggle is much the same for many of people. We deny ourselves of rest, because we feel guilty about the other things that ‘will suffer.’
Have you ever looked up the definition of ‘rest?’ I bring it to you, just to help you: I love the verb definition

Cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
Remain or be left in a specified condition: "rest assured".
An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.
The remaining part of something.”

I tried it when I got home: sit in my lovely lounging chair for at least half an hour to give room for the body to refresh itself with the idea of having arrived home before I delve into those other things waiting to be attended to, and I can tell you, I fail woefully! I am still trying.  We have to cultivate the habit of deliberately making time to rest. Sit down, enjoy a drink, have a cup of tea, stare at the moon (where you can find it) listen to birds chirping (where possible, in this Lagos!) listen to the sound of running water, feel the effect of the dawn (oh well, you get my point), look around, and admire your home; your room, blank out the thoughts that rush through your mind; just sit down AND do nothing. For 10 minutes.
Only Nigerians travel for holidays and return exhausted; I have a friend who does this every year, returns one day before work and then proceed to bitterly moan about fatigue. One would think anyone leaving Lagos is escaping into peace and quiet and rest, but no; shopping from dawn (literally dawn) to dusk. How about sleeping in and taking leisurely walks? Sit in a park someplace and read a book, or watch other people (and the children) play? (I can hear someone say ‘seriously, Zainab?!) Sigh.
And you know, I dare to say that those of us who believe that God has done all things just so we can take it easy are the guiltiest of this. We make such nonsense of what has been freely given.
‘nuff said. Put your feet up.
Be free oh!

Picture courtesy Google.

1 comment:

  1. U ar completely right, It gat me thinking on when last I had a good rest without the noice around me, thanks for reminding me aunty zee.


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