Here’s a confession: I’m really tired.
I’m just tired.
There’s a lot going on. Things that need to be done. My to-do list fills up more quickly than it empties. There’s always something.
I assume it’s the same for most people.
Last week I was finishing up lunch and I started thinking about all the things that I was going to accomplish that day. Big stuff. Major to-do list crossing off. The kind of day that would take a year’s worth of pressure off my shoulders. It was going to be an EPIC DAY OF DOING.
Then, suddenly and impulsively, I decided to go and take a nap. My eyes were heavy, my heart was heavy, and I wanted it to ease up. I knew instinctually that a day in my studio, no matter how much work was completed, would not make anything remotely better.
I hadn’t taken a nap in ages. And as I decided to venture into the bedroom and close myself off from the world for few hours, it felt a little like I was escaping, giving in to the resistance that I feel every single afternoon- this huge exhausting resistance that makes me SO tired and cranky and heavy. The resistance, and all the junky feelings that go along with it, immediately dissipates as soon as I get into my art studio and I pick up a paintbrush, but for some reason that day, I decided to just give in.
So I went into my bedroom, closed the curtains, put on pajamas, cranked the AC up, turned on my little sound machine, and crawled into bed.
It was divine.
It was delicious and decadent and so sweet. The sheets were so cool and comforting. The sunlight dappling through the curtains gave the room a hazy white glow. I could still smell the flowery shower gel on my skin and the fruity smell of my shampoo on my hair, still damp from the shower I had an hour earlier. I felt cool and comforted and cozy.
The room got quieter and the temperature dropped down, and one of my cats wandered in and plopped down beside me, and I curled up under my blankets and sort of spend the afternoon in a dreamy, gauzy state somewhere between dreaming and napping in short bursts and being half awake. Time passed quickly, but it felt like it belonged to me (if that makes any sense). I just let go for a while, and relaxed into it.
It was heavenly.
You know what? I may not have gotten anything completed that afternoon but I felt like I did more for myself that day, curled up in bed, than I have in a very long time sitting behind my desk. I needed that rest. And that’s why it felt so damn good when I gave in to it. It felt perfect because it *was* perfect.
The next day, after lunch, I was ready to return to my studio. Ready to face the resistance. Ready to pick up the brush and brave the ickiness that comes when starting a new project. I was well-rested and fortified. The nap had recharged my batteries, had made me feel like I wasn’t running on empty.
I won’t nap a lot. As much as I enjoyed it, I spent a good portion of graduate school napping in an effort to escape my looming thesis deadline and the tremendous anxiety I had about completing my degree. That napping was NOT restorative or delicious, it was guilt-ridden and made me feel like garbage.
This afternoon nap I had last week? Nothing like that.
And now that I know the amazing benefits of a well-deserved nap, I plan on indulging a lot more often. I encourage you to do the same.
When was the last time you just rested?
Chel Micheline is a mixed-media artist, curator, writer, and avid gardener/reader/swimmer who lives in Southwest Florida with her husband and daughter. When Chel’s not making art or pondering the Bliss Habits, she’s blogging at gingerblue.com (come say hi!) or posting new things in the gingerblue etsy shop.