I am so glad I am static right now. Sure, my fingers are tapping on a keyboard, but that's about it. Every other part of my body is relaxed, I do not need to be anywhere in the next 20 minutes, I did not go to work yesterday, I am not going to work today. My sister is here, I'm in Coatesville with family, and some of us fell aslep last night in front of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Happy Thanksgiving!
As Eric's car was cruising away from Bethlehem towards Coatesville on Wednesday evening, I realized I had not left the gentle steel town since I had come back in September.
It felt good, a relief, to be moving away. Coming back soon enough, and gladly, too. But it is necessary, sometimes, to leave.
To rest. To pause.
I've come to realize that I don't have a very high tolerance for stress when I'm not using the appropriate coping strategies. One of the strategies I used to reduce stress while I was stage-managing in October was to listen to a podcast while I was walking to the theatre. I knew that if I simply walked, I would churn information in my head, I would worry, I would make lists that would instantly evaporate, and reappear again, and evaporate again. The podcast allowed me to focus on something exterior. It told stories of people to whom I could relate, but whom I didn't know. I could feel, for the span of 20 minutes, like I was not on my way to work. I was hanging on to the illusion of free time.
Now, although I'm still working a lot, my stress levels are fine, generally speaking. But that's partly because I make a point of taking time for myself. I have been cooking as much as possible. Nothing fancy, but the ritual of preparing food has made me relax. I even almost enjoy washing the dishes!
I am thankful for so much, and particularly happy to have such optimal living conditions this year. When I come home from work, I come into a warm, handsome, appartment. My housemate is delightful. And having a safe place like this is so damn important. Shouldn't that be a priority in public policy?
We sometimes forget about quality of life, because we're so busy doing stuff. And while some of us can come home and breathe, others come home, still holding their breath.