This summer I had one job. To do less. A lot less. To rest and learn how to say no to things that were taking just a bit too much energy out of me.
This idea didn’t come out of nowhere. It was backed by family, friends, a doctor – and firmly backed by myself. It wasn’t even so much a want, as it was a need. I needed to slow down – I needed to breathe because I wasn’t just running out of energy anymore, I was already out.
So mid-May I began carefully chipping away at things in my life that probably didn’t need to be there, and I started to get a whole lot better. I was reaching new levels of stability – physically and emotionally – and realizing what it was like to have a bit of energy again. It was great. And then I got a little bit carried away.
I had all this new found energy, which in retrospect, wasn’t a whole lot but was simply far more than what I was used to – and I started to use it up again. I had been feeling like I was just hanging off the edge of capable for so long that when I finally felt like my feet were both firmly on the ground I took advantage of it.
In the leftover space of all the things I had gotten so good at saying no to, I started to say yes to so much more. I was suddenly busy – spending a lot of my time out my house, heading into nature and into the city without having second thoughts. I started pursuing a relationship, and then continuing to pursue a relationship, that never quite screamed stable or healthy.
I learned a lot. I’m still learning a lot. And while I had a wonderful whirlwind of a summer, it came at a price. I should have slowed down in September – should have never sped up to how fast I was going in the first place – but here we are almost in November. Now, I’m finding my way back to solitude – learning that other people’s company can slowly and over time become a little bit addicting.
I’m falling in love with my little laneway house all over again. I haven’t been to the park nearby in ages. My body is tired – it’s been reminding me of this for several months now. How many times does it have to get sick, get weak, get in pain, before I listen to it? I’ve had a hundred reminders to pay attention and I’ve only ever considered them inconveniences. But I was warned. I needed to slow down.
So I guess this is an apology letter to myself – to my body. I’m sorry for not paying attention – for ignoring you. For continuing to make choices that would only ever hurt you, no matter how fun in the moment. And I’m sorry for not thinking more highly of you, for taking you for granted. I’m sorry for not having a little more respect for you, I’m working on it, I swear.
I promise that this time, I’ll be accountable. That this month, will be all about rest. You can hold me to this. I’m starting to say no again – to put my foot down when it comes to a few things – to let go of things I was gripping so tightly to for all the wrong reasons. It doesn’t feel all that great quite yet, but oh, it will.