Most people, I think, require deep rest. If you are part of this capitalist society then you may be aware that rest is not an easily-procured thing. Oftentimes rest is considered weakness. This is true for both men and women but in some different ways.
I, like most moms with a career, have not had opportunities for rest and have had to carve time out for self-care. Once that puzzle was figured out (and it takes some trial and error), a more complicated problem emerges: how to allow that care to emerge, how to accept it.
Seems like a problem fraught in privledge, and it is. It is also one grounded in the internalization of cultural ideals about women and mothers. It is also a problem of capitalism, standardized educational practices, marginalization, and stigmas about mental health, to only name a few that pop off in my mind when I think about why it has been so difficult for me to accept my plan of self-care.
Nevertheless, here I am. I recently walked away from my teaching positions in academia after 15 years because they were not filling me up anymore. I took a leap, a giant leap into the unknown. With this leap, I pledged to take space to discover and explore new passions and interests, to spend time nurturing myself so I can show up better in my roles, to find out what I want from my life now that I’ve turned a corner.
Here’s my confession: as soon as I sent out my resignation letters, I began what has turned into a month of frantic searching for another job. My mind cannot stop probing into what I am going to do.
Now, my husband is on board and vowed to support me financially for the next year as I supported him financially during the first two years of our relationship. He wants me to take this time, as he did, to explore and find enjoyment in my career again.
I have many questions: what are my passions now? What brings me a sense of vitality and grounding? Where is my heart? What does self-care look like in my 40s?
Anyone would be lucky to have this opportunity.
I am also taking this year of radical self-care to prepare for adoption from foster care, a process into which we are about one year.
Sounds great, right? How wonderful to have alotted this time and space for such magickal work!
But I am struggling to allow myself this space! I have an interview lined up next week and I only JUST posted grades for my last class three days ago. The panic is REALLY REAL for me, yet I am not completley sure what I am panicked about. It’s a nameless dread…always.