For the past few days, I’ve been waking up thinking, ‘maybe I’ll write today’, but then I haven’t been able to. That’s partly because I have been resting after Christmas (BOO), (Christmas always seems to result in M.E. ‘payback’ worsening of symptoms, even when I’ve been super-careful), and partly because I’ve been catching up with friends in person or via Skype after Christmas (YAY). What with all the talking and resting there hasn’t been a lot of room for writing.
So this isn’t a real blog post, just a message to say hello, and I’m still here, and watching spiders hover in mid-air as they make their webs on the other side of the window, listening to bird song, exploring Spotify, and admiring the new painting I got given for Christmas. I have words coming, they’re trickling through, and I’ve begun to re-look at my work-in-progress (my book on my experience of M.E.) and I have four A3 sheets of paper full of sticky notes to prove it.
I’ve been fretting about my blog growing saggy and sloppy because I haven’t been able to blog as consistently as I’d like. (I know, I know – that’s crazy-talk, right? Right??) I know in my head it’s okay to take a break, but it’s still hard. It can be hard to heed that call when the rest of the world is doing All The Things, and I want to join in and do All The Things as well.
Writers like to use grand images to talk about our work, “I’m not sitting hunched over a screen generating more words, I’m creating worlds! I’m crafting a masterpiece from dust! I’m in a war, battling the greatest of enemies: myself! I’m slaying the dragons of silence!” because, let’s face it, writing doesn’t sound as glamorous or important as, say, open heart surgery.
I find it hard to know when it’s ‘resting’ and when it’s ‘resistance’.
I find it hard to know when to know if I’m feeling lethargic because the demons are whispering that I have nothing to share with the world, or if I’m feeling lethargic because my body is whispering that it needs longer to recover. In the past, I would push myself to Do, I would swing a sword round whether I knew there were demons or not, but after seventeen years of chronic illness, I am finally getting better at erring on the side of caution.
Right now, I am aware that it may be even be a bit of both, resistance and resting-requirement together. I am compromising. Today I have fifteen minutes, so this will be fifteen minutes’ worth. It’s nothing particularly earth-shattering to share with the world. (But I’m writing it anyway). And then I will return to Spotify and slow breathing.
I have been pretty good at resting well, these past few days. Sometimes I feel like I’m idling, floating directionless, and it frustrates me. But a friend recently said the word ‘cocooning’ to me, and I’m holding onto that word. A cocoon looks lifeless and dry, but it is the storehouse of new life.
When Mary was visited by angels, she stored up all those things and treasured them up in her heart. She cocooned, and wrapped up all those promises around her like a brown paper blanket, ready to burst open at the right time. I think I’ll try that too. I am cocooning.
Over to you:
- How do you decide when it’s ‘rest-requirement’ and when it’s ‘resistance’?
- What do you think about the idea of cocooning?