Monday, February 15, 2016
Monday, Monday, and a Daughter's Advice
I took the weekend off, blogging-wise, focussing on time with my guy, with two little cuties and their mama, and on some self-care. So I'm scrambling to post something for you this morning, even though I know not a single one of you would complain if I don't.
What about you? Have you managed, ever, to quell those Inner Scolds? Or do you find their instructions and admonitions useful? (I know I've achieved much of what I've done because I couldn't shut mine up, and even though they've shortened the distance between my shoulders and my ears, I'm grateful for some of that). Are you Unhurrying these days or trying to fit in as much as you can while you still have your health? And one last kicker: do you find yourself being as intense about play as you were about work and might that be something you need to dial back on as well?
Just dropped back in to chuckle at myself, and no doubt I'll have some company. That list of questions! That is really not the list of someone trying to dial back 20%, is it? Just Chill, Frances! Just Chill! ;-)
That pressure I so often feel to be doing this or that or the other not-sitting-around-reading-a-book-or-watching-Downton-Abbey activity is lifelong, and it almost certainly has much to do with being the eldest in a very large family. Raising four myself will have contributed, and then wanting to pursue an education and a career as well.
But I'm retired now, and the children are grown and independent, even if they are happy enough to allow some baby-sitting from time to time. And I'm 62 years old, old enough to be able to tell my Inner Child or my Inner Editor or my Dictatorial Left-Hemisphere or whatever entities are producing all the guilt and anxiety chatter that this simply has to stop. I mean, really!
I'm beginning my week (at least, that's how my pre-Retirement days have conditioned me to think about Mondays) thinking about this not only because Sue at High Heels in the Wilderness spoke (er, ranted) back to that perception, recently voiced by Grace Coddington, that many of us are "sitting around" one we give up that regular paycheque. Nor am I thinking about it because Lisa at Amid Privilege shared her commitment to "unhurrying" as she settles more deeply into her retirement. But to those two articulate reflections on time and how we use it in this fortunate stage of life was added my daughter's advice at the end of the therapeutic massage she gave me yesterday morning.
She's an RMT (a BC Registered Massage Therapist) this daughter, and I'd happily scooped up a booking when an unexpected opening in her appointment schedule coincided with my visit. There's something entirely wonderful about being cared for this way by an adult you've raised, but I won't wax lyrical and mystical and emotional about that here, now. She did what she could in an hour to release some of the tension I was hanging (tightly!) onto, particularly in my neck and shoulders. Then as I was sitting up on the table, gathering the coverings around me, she gave a few suggestion about some stretches I might do, some movements I might avoid or modify, and then the advice that's echoing still, that I'm really pondering: "My advice to you," said my daughter to me, but also said the RMT to her client, "would be that everything you do, do 20% less."
Primarily, I think she meant that most of the physical actions I do could be achieved with less energy. Putting dishes away doesn't require all muscles be tense, and even running can be achieved more economically by a body that's not unduly clenched. But, of course, I take what she means at a more symbolic or metaphorical level as well, and I wonder what 20% less would do to my lists. . .
Here's the thing. At 62, I probably should start to shush those inner voices that impel me to do more. Except that at 62, some habits are deeply set, and one isn't likely to re-create a whole self. Let's just say, however, that I'm thinking about how and why and whether I'll dial down a bit...
While I'm thinking, here's how I'm dressing. Pretty dialled-down here, at least, as I'm getting ready to leave the massage studio my daughter practices at. Can you see her wise words ringing in my ears?