Saturday, 1 September 2012

Rest on a busy Saturday.

For this last month, SheLoves Magazine have been writing about Rest. Today Idelette ended with the most beautiful post about letting go of having everything "Just right" in order to be open and real with having people in our home. She's asked about our "Aha!" moments with rest, so I thought I'd write about my life, for the first time in a while - or ever.

Rest is such a hard thing to come by for me, it seems. There's a few reasons for it, some practical, some emotional. The mechanics of having 2 kids plus growing one, renovating a house, your husband being self-employed, and being involved in leadership in our church doesn't leave a lot of time for just BEing. It's something we need to schedule in.

Today is Saturday. It's meant to be the one day of the week where we can all be together, as a family, and do something fun - or at least this is the expectation. And I have to wonder, where on earth did that come from? If I'm realistic about growing up, I'm sure my parents had projects around the house they spent their Saturday's on - sports games, meetings - it's probably not idyllic for anyone. But somehow the grump gets me on a Saturday more than it usually would, because I have a longing for the chance to just stop. The thing I have discovered though is that if you decide to stop, and not get anyone breakfast on time, not get dressed, sit around trying to read - all you end up with is 2 very grumpy kids, which makes me and my husband extremely grumpy too. Too often Saturday begins with us all huffing and puffing and speaking harshly to each other.

One way we've helped this is by getting out to the lake every Saturday morning, walking around it, feeding the ducks, and letting the kids play in the park. I'm not an outdoorsy type at all, but the fresh air and the beauty do me good, and I feel better having spent two hours with my family, even if the rest of the day we don't see each other much.

Another thing about rest is emotional, I think. I have a compulsive need to keep going, keep doing, keep achieving something, otherwise I feel like people are disappointed in me. As if they walk into my home and think "What on earth does she do all day?".

Really? Who cares what I do all day! It's not my problem how people may perceive my levels of housekeeping or parenting or personal hygiene. I need to learn to rest from my own expectations. To let go of the obsessive need to look the part, to be everything to everyone except myself. Inherently I put myself last, and while being selfless is a quality I admire, it's not admirable if I feel bitter and hard-done-by in the process. If my living room is chaotic because I spent the afternoon reading books to my son and baking with my daughter, or even if I spent the afternoon lying on the couch ignoring all the jobs, then I don't need to explain or apologise. I need to remember this, to learn it, to have it sink down into my bones. Because I am always apologising for stuff that doesn't need an apology, even an explanation.

Rest for me looks like the future more than it looks like the present, I guess. But a good start for a mum of young kids, is probably where Idelette is at: to feel free to have people in my life, in my home, without apology or excuse. To make time for looking into the eyes of my beautiful family, to listen to my husband, to talk to my kids. And to let myself stop, to give myself permission to live life in a thoroughly non-magazine-photographed way. Cluttered and full of life.

Thanks Idelette, for writing about your bathroom being messy. It means the world to me to have someone I admire so much pull back the curtain and show that she's just like me.

And to you, elusive Rest, one day, we will be friends.

xx Sarah

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post, Sarah. Thank you for leaning into Rest with us ... This line gripped me: "I need to learn to rest from my own expectations." So well said.