After a big whinge to my online Writerly buddies about my lack of energy, the fact that the sight of my beloved laptop Mary made my stomach churn with the ‘guilt of the unwritten’, I was met with such a show of support and love, that I found myself all teary and blubbery.
I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. And now, you get to meet one of them
Rest. Why is doing nothing so hard?
If you are a follower of Personally Speaking, you will know that Susannah has been laid low by a nasty dose of Ross River Fever.
In case you are a bit foggy on all the ways Ross River Fever truly sucks, here’s a rundown:
‘…feelings of flu-like illness, accompanied by a high fever, skin rash and joint pains. Swelling of the joints can also be present, and are usually worse in the mornings. Other more general symptoms include nausea, headache, backache and muscle aches and pains.The initial symptoms normally present between five and 14 days after infection, and usually last up to six weeks. However, some sufferers report ongoing joint pains, depression and fatigue for up to six months.’
I’m a member of Susannah’s online writing group, and we are e-watching from an e-distance as she tries to do the impossible- to rest. She’s a girl with a lot to do, a lot to say, a lot to write, and fighting the urge to do all of those things is a moment by moment struggle 1. because it’s just so darn boring (see post below), and 2. too because it offers so much time and just enough energy to work up a nice big dose of guilt about all the things you are not doing.
I’ve been there.
Most people I know have been there.
Luckily most of us don’t have to suffer through Ross River Virus, but we’ve all soldiered on during times of illness, exhaustion, stress, and heartbreak because the alternative – resting – often induces complicated feelings of frustration and guilt- ‘I’m just being a wus’, ‘I should just suck it up and get on with it’, ‘I’m taking way too long to get over this.’
Why is that?
I had a major crisis last week about something so very minor that this week, with my perspective fully restored, and a now refreshed knowledge of just how miserable Ross River Virus is, I’m almost embarrassed to repeat it. But I learned something from my wise sister about resting and guilt that I hope will stand me in good stead should I ever end up in Susannah’s position, or God forbid with something worse.
I thought I’d better write it down so I’ll remember it when the time comes, and I hope Susannah will remind me of it when I need to hear it again, as no doubt I will- probably over and over for the rest of my life.
I also thought it might be a good way to introduce myself, as I may contribute a few things here and there over the next few weeks for Personally Speaking so that Susannah can rest a bit longer.
I’m Alison. I’ve known Susannah for six months since I joined her writing group. I am a writer of children’s fiction, television producer, serial renovator with mid-term memory loss (I did say NEVER again a few years ago but here I am again…), blogger, wife, mum, daughter, sister, canteen hand, soccer mum, yoga comittment-phobe, home magazine addict with a life threatening sweet tooth.
In the time that I’ve known Susannah she has warmly and generously e-talked me through several scary blog posts, a pitch to a major publisher, encouraged me on several poems and been honest enough to tell me when something I wrote needed, well, something more. It’s precious and rare to have that sort of sounding board as a writer.
So, when the dust settles on this week’s renovating stuff-ups and redos, I will post part 2 of ‘Rest. Why is doing nothing so hard?’ entitled ‘Learning to rest without guilt.‘
It’s a work in progress, so feel free to post your suggestions, and then, watch this space.