Relax. Don’t do it.

I don’t know how to relax. When I take a day off, whether intentionally or unintentionally, I feel like I have wasted a day. If I spend the whole day in my pajamas and I don’t brush my teeth and I don’t go out then I really feel the same as when I did when I was smoking pot. The next day I feel completely behind and that I haven’t done anything useful.

It is like being on a bender. My entropy and lethargy only get stronger and stronger. The next day when I start to pick up the pieces I feel like a big mess. I feel like I’ve just had a huge party in my house where 50 people have shown up and left beer bottles and paper plates everywhere. I feel like my entire job is to clean up after them. But the only problem is there was no them. It was just me.

So I feel guilty taking time off. I feel guilty doing nothing. Perhaps I feel that I don’t deserve it. So I push myself really hard all the time and I double up on my days. I try make sure I have something to do no matter where I am.

Even if I’m watching television I have beads nearby that I can work on and make necklaces. It isn’t like I have commissions or guaranteed sales for them. It isn’t like I’m really making money off this. Yet I still keep busy. When I walk at lunch I write some of this blog using my phone. I don’t look up and see the beauty that is around me.

I’m always doing something. Rarely am I just being. I know that if I do too much I’m going to wear myself out. My desire to not be wasteful of my time will end up wasting my life. I’ll wear myself out and have nothing left.

Even now I’m on the way to an appointment and I’m dictating this into my phone. That way I can copy and paste it later into my blog. It’s a little pathological. The appointment is with a spiritual director. Spiritual directors are concerned with your relationship with God. The right now I’m concerned with my own relationship with myself.

Just like the Sabbath, perhaps I need to schedule my unscheduled time. God knew how busy we’d get, and mandated rest for us. So I need to start seeing rest as holy.

I need to start seeing quiet time as not wasted time. I think the only way for me to do that is to plan it, rather than just let it happen. If I prepare for it by doing my morning routine and making sure I’m caught up on my chores, I won’t feel so far behind when I “return” from my “time off”. Retreats don’t have to be held at a separate location. They can occur in the living room or back yard.

And then again, I need to address why I feel that I have to do it all. How much of that comes from when my parents died, and I had to handle the whole estate by myself? I had to take care of the house sale too, and prepare to move. I had help with the heavy lifting from friends, but all the organization and legal stuff I had to do on my own. My brother, older and in real estate, was not only not helpful, he had proven how untrustworthy he was with other similar situations. I could have let him “help” me and I would have lost more than money in the deal. I’ve seen his version of ethics and morals.

I need to remember that isn’t how everyone acts. I need to remember that bad people aren’t necessarily patterns for all people. I’ve overtrusted in the past and been very hurt. People I should have been able to trust, best friends, have betrayed me and excluded me. I have a hard time trusting and feeling safe around most people. Their ways are not my ways.

I’ve recently learned that feeling betrayed and losing trust are all part of trauma. What you expect to be solid and true turns out to be null and void. I also know that not processing difficult feelings is dangerous. Perhaps that is part of why I fall into pits of “nothingness” and unintentional days off. Perhaps the trauma of my childhood and the recent chaos at work are all connected.