We need to do is to be paying attention to what is actually refreshing. When I’m done with the activity do I feel better or is it just coming back to the crazy again?
Mystie: Alright, I’m so excited to kick off this season of the Simplified Organization podcast with Virginia Lee, who helps me with customer service emails. Hi, Virginia Lee.
Virginia Lee: Hi, everyone.
Mystie: So this season is about rest. All the rest of the episodes are going to be clips from a workshop that I did on getting rest as a mom because sometimes that just seems impossible. So, I thought today we would kick off that season by having a quick conversation about specific ways that we rest and recuperate from an intense day with the kids. And, I think that thinking about it in terms of recuperation really helps. It’s not usually a word that’s used in this conversation. We talk about rest or renewal or refreshment or filling our buckets, but I don’t know, I like the word recuperation.
Virginia Lee: I do, too, it seems more like not a lifetime goal, a long term goal, but we can recuperate and get back into action.
Mystie: Right, the focus is on rebuilding, almost. You know, getting back to wholeness because sometimes it feels like we’ve been a little bit deconstructed after an intense day.
Virginia Lee: Yes, most definitely.
Mystie: So, I am an introvert and Virginia Lee is an extrovert, so we can bring a little bit of a difference there. And, Virginia Lee, what are some of the things that you do after a hard day?
Virginia Lee: You know, I almost always do the same things because they work for me: I pour myself a glass of sweet tea, I go outside under Silver Girl, which is our maple tree in our front yard, and then depending on exactly the extreme amount that I have to recuperate from, I either pray, or I would do a brain dump, or I get on a voxer and have a conversation with a friend.
Mystie: OK, nice.
Virginia Lee: And that seems to work every time. I choose one of those three depending of the severity or the seriousness of the recuperation that I need.
Mystie: Beverage, outside, and conversation. Because, prayer is conversation with God. And, of course, it makes me happy that brain dumping is also one of the options.
Virginia Lee: Yes, sometimes my recuperation needs to be a brain dump because the part that’s really torn me down is the fact that there’s just too much in my head from what I’ve seen in my day that I either need to tweak or add to, and it really helps me to refresh to just not have it all in my head any more.
Mystie: My current refreshing beverage of choice in the afternoon is sparkling water. So, I will grab sparkling water, close myself off in the bedroom or somewhere, sometimes I go take a quick walk or just even pace in front of my house (and make a spectacle for my neighbors), but actually, I think the walking itself helps – it is the outside but it’s also just some movement, it just helps the blood flow to the right places again. It helps my brain think more clearly, kind of like the brain dump. I will do a brain dump. One thing that I started doing last year was a power nap, which I’ve tried off and on before, and I read about power naps, but I’m not really a napper, and I usually feel worse after a try to take a nap, but I just felt like I needed the end of, especially like teaching a class or something, I just needed to turn off. I almost actually never fall asleep but it’s kind of my version of an isolation chamber. So, I take one of my black pajama shirts and drape it over my eyes, sometimes I will even put in ear plugs and close the door and everyone knows it’s just 10 minutes, no one’s allowed to knock on the door or anything, but I also have no nappers. No one naps at all in my house. Quiet Time is a thing of the past, so this is mom’s quiet time. It’s amazingly helpful to just have 10 minutes with zero input. It’s not really the sleep so much as the being able to turn off for a little bit. It’s like a reboot. And, then I have so much more mental clarity when I get up.
Virginia Lee: And, I think that’s the introvert part of you refreshing, because to me, it’s not that I need no input, I need no input of the kind that I had been having, which sounds mean to say because it’s my children but I need a change of input, whether the input is the breeze outside, the way the light looks coming through the trees, or a conversation with an adult—that’s what I need to refresh and to recuperate is a change of input but I do still like input.
Mystie: Yeah, and I think that’s what we need to do is to be paying attention to what is actually refreshing. So when I’m done with the activity do I feel better or is it just coming back to the crazy again? We’re looking for the things (they’re not actually a break) we’re giving us rest or recuperating unless they allow us to come back to our full lives ready to handle it again. So, we don’t need to turn away from it all for a little while, we need to turn away to something that brings us back better.