Montage your life: A trick for when you can’t rest

Anyone else having a hard time letting themselves rest now that the pandemic is starting to wind down in the U.S.? I’ve been struggling with this lately, even though I’ve been busy serving as the sole caregiver, friend, teacher, playmate, and germ guardian (virus bouncer?) to both of my children for the last year and a half. Now that I finally have a smidgen of time for myself, I feel pressure to immediately fill it with productive, income-creating, house-improving work rather than the rest that I actually need. 

One day last week my in-laws unexpectedly volunteered to take my kids for a chunk of the afternoon, and I immediately thought, LAUNDRY! WRITING! YARD WORK! 

I was having such a hard time letting go of it that I decided to make a mental montage of my life. Which basically means I closed my eyes and visualized a time-lapse video of all the things I’ve done in the past year. I used the 10x fast forward setting on my mind’s remote and pictured myself wiping hundreds of butts, cooking thousands of meals, folding laundry — or at least washing it and throwing it in a drawer — let’s be honest. I let it play out for a minute, like when a TV show is trying to communicate the passage of time by having clouds hustle over a city at a clipped pace, or having day turning into night and day again.

Except that the montage is just me, sloughing through a thousand tantrums and nosebleeds and smoothies spilled on carpet. 

I watch, and then I let myself melt into the ground, as my yoga teacher would say, and I rest. 

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