I rest because I can
An intention of rest and relaxation for the new year
In the last few years, self care and self love took a gradual nosedive and I began to experience burnout. I will give you a background story as to why things began to fall apart and why this year is largely focused on the need to consistently practice self care. Methods of self care vary among people's preferences and the ones I use have always been in my life but I let them slip, along with my sanity.
In August 2018, my partner and I bought a house whilst being 38 weeks pregnant. We had no family where we lived so we relied on the kindness of colleagues to help us move. It was exciting that we owned a home as I was planning on having a home birth and at the same time becoming a new parent felt terrifying.
On October the 8th, 2.5 weeks after the due date, my son was born on the living room floor. A healthy boy with eyes that reminded me of a moonless night, we named him Tristan. Tristan was a terrible sleeper which caused my sleep to suffer also. I forgot what a full night's sleep felt like and longed for a restful sleep without disturbances. When Tristan was 5 months, I discovered I was pregnant again.
In February 2020, I gave birth to Sid on my bedroom floor. The following year was chaotic and became a blur. I was in constant motion. My body behaved like a machine and I was beginning to wear out as I forgot to treat it with love and care.
In August 2020, I became pregnant again. I went to the dating scan alone due to Covid restrictions, there I saw a blob of tissue and no sign of a baby. I had a molar pregnancy which happens to 1 in 1000 women. I was pretty burnt out at this stage and showed no emotion and felt nothing. I went outside to where my partner was waiting and told him the devastating news. He cried and I remained numb. It took 2 weeks before I actually felt sadness. I had surgery within the next two weeks as it was considered an emergency. I had regular blood tests to make sure the pregnancy hormone, hCG, was decreasing as high levels could indicate the tumor cells were becoming cancerous. My levels went to 5 and then started increasing up to 17. I was then informed I needed chemotherapy which was a blow. On the day I was informed about the chemotherapy side effects and regimen, I had a blood test which turned out to be normal. The hCG levels were zero and I took weekly blood tests for a month to make sure it stayed that way and then monthly blood tests which I am still doing.
As my hCG levels went down, my appreciation started to increase. I began to meditate much more and felt I needed to go back to work as a nurse. The experience of surgery and care from the hospital made me see nursing in a much brighter light. I often dreamt of having another job as nursing could be grueling.
Coincidentally, Borja, my partner began to experience anxiety and depression. He suffered from a panic attack after seeing the children eat due to a fear of them choking. He constantly worried about their safety and sought help from professionals. His depression largely stemmed from his toxic work environment. I told Borja he should quit and we will figure out a plan on what to do next. That day he did quit and never went to work again.
In February 2021, I began working as a nurse again after having 2 years off as a stay at home mother. Borja stayed at home with the boys. I worked 4 days a week and was able to pay off the mortgage and bills. We never do save but we are free of worry as we both enjoy our new found roles. At work, I began to notice how lovely tea breaks were and how thankful I was for having lunch in peace. I went home full of gratitude and began to really enjoy a new level of appreciation for my family. It was a good year and self love began to return.
In December 2021, my cat Kali passed away on a new moon. She was a dear friend. She was named Kali, the God of death and time according to hinduism. My last name is Laxmidhar, after the God of Laxmi, Goddess of wealth. My partner has the last name Ares who is the God of courage and war in Greek/Roman mythology. We called ourselves the Trinity. Kali's death helped create space for a new beginning. She gave us unconditional love, care and she was so gentle.
Kali taught me to love myself and others as she loved me. It was a rare moment when you didn't see Kali around and she always greeted you with a "pree" when you entered the room, always happy to see you. She graced us with her presence and when she left, it dawned on me on how much she adored us and vice versa.
2022 asks me to me kind to myself and remember the lessons that my life events in the last few years gave me. I recently began to do jigsaw puzzles in the evening to unwind from the day and to limit the amount of You Tube I was watching. I craved information and perhaps it wasn't self caring if it meant my bed time would be delayed as turning off the tablet in the middle of an interesting video was difficult for me to do.
I began to do 10-15 minutes of yoga in the morning to help my body stretch and focus my mind on breathing evenly. The held poses encourages me to be flexible in body and mind and feel the flow of life as I flow through the poses in yoga. The flow of life is something I wish to practice daily, as it decreases stress and turns the need for control into a state of allowing and trusting which I devote to my spirit.
It has only been a few weeks into the new year and already I feel the positive effects of my new resolution. My new evening activity is dedicated to writing which is very therapeutic and I feel like part of my soul is free.
These new practices has left me feeling blessed. I was in an apparent hurricane that caused my soul to scream during some dark moments but these moments also caused me to redefine and redirect my roles which caused the suffering in the first place. My mind has become clearer and I enjoy life and look forward to the day ahead.
I have experienced insomnia on and off for the last 5 years and that too is slowly improving the more I invest in my self care and relaxation practices. As the year unfolds, I hope my practices strengthen in areas of determination and perserverance. I wish to place the same importance on these important self rituals just like the other typical practices all animals carry out like bathing, eating and getting a good night's rest. Self care is essential to become more loving and caring. It is for the greater good. We are worth the time and energy.