Last night after taking a hot shower, I crawled into the freshly washed sheets of my bed and let my body sink into the bliss of it all. It was 8pm. Several days this week, about an hour before I have to go pick my daughter up from school, after spending her school hours writing, studying and teaching, I have let myself lie down for “a little eyeball rest” as I like to call it. It all feels wonderfully rebellious. There is a little part of me that wonders if I am doing something wrong or if I am wasting the precious time I have alone, not doing something more “productive”. It feels a bit naughty to actually shut out the world for a time in the middle of what we have collectively deemed to be working hours and sometimes actually fall asleep.
Let me also acknowledge the privilege I have to even be able to do this. I promise you it's not because I have an exorbitant amount of wealth where I don’t have to worry about working. Quite the opposite in fact. My husband is currently an adjunct professor who travels four hours a day to get to and from work and spends most of what he earns on gas and tolls. The other days of the week he is at a restaurant working. I am studying for my eating disorder recovery coaching certification and taking a writing course in the process, while continuing to try and grow and build an online business and take care of our daughter, all while living with my parents. I share all of that to show that our life is not currently in some ideal place where we can lap in many luxuries. We have so much work to do and so many ways in which we are working to create our life after the shifting tide that was COVID for our family. Yet still, I am very, very lucky to be able to do any of that. Not to mention, naps are free.
And yet, it is perhaps the fact that I am making this choice to prioritize rest over production, in the face of needing to be so, that makes it feel all the more revolutionary. It is also what I believe is the far more productive path than the one our culture has been steeped in for so long. Ever since the industrial revolution, productivity culture has been born out of the need to squeeze the most out of its workers with the least amount of cost. Capitalism tells us that the more we output, the more valuable we are and therefore spending any amount of the waking hours doing something other than producing is cutting down our value.
Lately, I have an insatiable need to reject it all. The very same way that my daily walks are a rebellion against the culture of fitness and the idea we need to push our bodies in order to be productive in our movement, my naps are a rebellion against the idea that my value, that any of our value, lives only in what we produce. I want to live in a world where the value of a person is inherent and solely based on us even being in existence, rather than on what we can offer the world. The entire hustle culture narrative is one that upholds the constant question of “what can you do for me?”, most often imposed by ourselves because somewhere along the line, we got the memo that our worth is only in what we can offer others. It’s why the very idea of self-care can be so overwhelming to the Mom who is constantly on the go, the Dad who thinks he has to “bring home the bacon” or even the child who is asked the question from day one, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” as if they aren’t already enough in their current state of being.
My feelings around this were only magnified when the other day, on one of my walks, I listened to Glennon Doyle share in her podcast that perhaps the revolutionary woman is a well rested one. Sign me up for this revolution please. Let me put down the production and pull up the blanket and give my body and my mind the good rest that it so longs for. I am also happy to recruit any and all who wish to join. There is no need to enroll in any special program. No subscription or sign up necessary. All you have to do is stare your fatigue in the eye and honor it. Even if you aren’t tired but you just need a break, I dare you to take it. The work will get done, the world will continue to go on and your stock will not drop. I promise. Join me in the revolution of rest. Let’s be the well-rested sisters and brothers that our foremothers and fathers weren’t because someone accidentally told them that they only mattered if they could give and give and give.
Let’s not wait until we are dead to rest. I have a feeling it will be so much less pleasurable then.
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is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.