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  • Writer's picturecin salach

You Could Take a Nap Instead of Reading This


A funny thing happened on my way to April.


March stopped me in my tracks with a couple of flu viruses. I spent the first several days in that I-don’t-know-what-day-time-year-room-I’m-in-did-anyone-feed-the-cats-my-son-what-about-the-dog-when-was-the-last-time-I-brushed-my-teeth kind of out of it-ness.


I haven’t been that sick since the 7th grade.


The cure?


“Rest,” said the doctor. “Rest,” said the healer. “Rest,” said my body. “Rest,” said my soul.


“Really?” said my brain. “Are you sure?” said my brain. “You don’t want to get lazy,” said my brain.


That super productive conversation went on in my head for nine days. Then, miraculously on the tenth day I woke up and my heart, body, soul, AND brain, said, “Yes, rest.”


So I got TWO extra pillows for the couch. And a really soft blanket. I put a small table next to where I was lying so my tea and water were easily accessible. Why had I not thought of this before?


I stayed on that couch with those pillows and that blanket and my dog (see above) on my legs and I read books. For the next seven days, I read FOUR books. Two had been on my nightstand for three years.


And guess what? Nothing happened. The sky didn’t fall. No one sent me a nasty text asking where I was and saying how dare I. Clients didn’t drop me. The dog survived. And somehow my son got fed, although DoorDash stock probably went up.


I’ve never felt more aligned with the universe than I did the morning I surrendered to real rest—not the faux rest my brain had been trying to sell me. The “Well, ok, we can lay down but let’s not make it too comfortable. We don’t want to like it so much we want to rest ALL THE TIME, do we?”


You know how once you see something profound but horrifying you can never unsee it? That’s how I feel about my inability to let myself stop and heal from those viruses. How I dragged myself around the house pretending to be “productive” to pacify my brain. To cross something off my “To do” list. To take a nap and still go to sleep earlier.


After I got better, I was talking to a friend whose wife was healing from an injury, and how impossible it seems for women to stop and rest. He looked at me and said, “Why IS that?” Before I knew what I was saying I answered, “Because nothing can be taken away from a man who rests.”


The same cannot be said for a woman. A sick woman can lose everything. But a well-rested woman?


A well-rested woman can split the world open.


As the poet and warrior Audre Lorde said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”


Poetry heals. Love wins.  Rest rules.




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