Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Respite

Ah, Sunday afternoons. They always feel better if you've had a productive Sunday morning. Still have errands to run, but taking a tea break and chilling with Roy Orbison. It has been a pretty good couple of days even though the last few were on the chemo pump. Since the cancer center is closed on the weekends, I had to go to the hospital to get my pump taken off yesterday. A bit more waiting than at the center, but all in all the same process. Felt pretty wiped out Thursday and Friday. Napped through most of Friday actually. And after sleeping in and another nap on Saturday, my energy was pretty good yesterday afternoon and evening. Keeping up on the sleep really helps in the first few days after chemo. I had originally planned to attend a dance party last night, but wasn't sure if just coming off the chemo was going to agree with that plan. Turns out all that rest worked for me. I was able to dance a good part of the night away. Though I can really tell that I am out of shape and don't have the endurance I'd like. All that jumping and flailing around for a couple of songs and I would need a break. And I was totally wiped when I got home. But it was great to be able to dance it out again.

I've learned to see naps and rest in a more positive light. I have in the past been one of those folks who says that "sleep is for the weak," or "you can sleep when you're dead." There is far too much to explore every day, so many things to get done, work, projects to finish and start, and somehow still find the time for the balance of relaxation and fun. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day. I would often sacrifice sleep for many things, some important and some just not. A year ago I had picked up a book by a British writer called "How to be Idle." It was a lesson I felt that I needed to work on. Of course finding the time to read the book, much less take the time for idleness was futile at the time. I've always been excellent at just losing time to what seems like nothing: staring out a window, intently focusing on a run of songs, sitting in your head not even thinking. And I've been very good at imposing an inordinate sense of busyness and overt responsibility on myself. Many months ago I would have held the latter above the former for a good use of time and energy. But now I've come around to thinking the opposite.

I wonder about all the 'busy' that we put on ourselves. The busyness can help us feel important or worthwhile, especially when we are feeling unsure of ourselves. It can also be the sense of responsibilities that are not ours to bear (an issue I've been working at for quite a while). Sometimes, it is enough just to get through the day. Taking care of, and paying careful attention to, only the basics can be revelatory. Deep satisfaction can be found without ticking off a massive to-do list. And sometimes staring idly out a window can be the reboot that our brain needs. So I've become rather the good idler nowadays. And somehow I still get things done. And the days that I don't get much done, those are okay too. Right now, it's time for cup of tea number two; a fine moment of respite.


  1. Sing it, Victoria! This is soo freakin' true. Last time I remember feeling this way was when I had surgery. It was meaningful. It was moral. Are we really meant to work all day, then some more, only to have just enough brain power to watch "The Good Wife?" Checklist indeed.

    Anyway *back to work*

    Cara L.

  2. We have a busy itinerary for our UP vacation, but I've also scheduled slack time... to sit and watch the waves roll up on the beach, to see a sunset or two... to look -really-hard- for wildflowers and take my time with photographing wrap my arms around huge pine trees and marvel at how they're still here 400 years after their seeds first germinated.

    I want to savor the delight of Mackinac Island fudge on my tongue and see if I can be patient enough for it to melt before I chew it instead (lol). Wanna make a wager? Hee hee

    And I'll be thinking of -you- on this vacation, and remembering what you've written about slowing down to just enjoy being alive.