This Time of Year

To my disappointment, the day passed without a nap. It wasn’t for lack of trying, it just never materialized. I did lay down for half an hour, but sleep never came. It was still nice to be off my feet and close my eyes. The day was so nice regardless because it was always in the back of my mind to take it easy and be kind to myself. I can remember a time when getting by a few hours of sleep didn’t phase me; that time has passed.

The day was productive in the easy does it way a somewhat older woman whose been up since 2am manages things. It was nice actually because the entire time I had it in the back of my mind to keep it slow. Take my time. No pressure. I had to laugh because thirty five and forty year old me got up at 2am on purpose, routinely, because as a homeschool mom that is when I fit my (paid) work into the day. That feels so wild to me now. Fifty year old me would never. Rest is medicine. Once upon a time I was the person who always took the earliest appointment in the day: car repair, meeting, furnace cleaning, travel departure. I’m still a morning person and rise naturally with first light or sooner every day, I just place a lot more emphasis on the protection of those early hours. When possible, they are not to be rushed. 

One of life’s great mysteries is the inability for older generations to effectively impress on the younger, how incredibly precious it all is.To feel it in their bones, as we do. Take care. Do less. Notice. This moment is all we have. Perhaps it’s a survival mechanism for the younger generation because they are often raising the tiniest generation, who are developmentally without a well-formed concept of time. 

I rendered some tallow, canned twenty pints of chicken, finished the broth. Some other incidentals. Made a lovely, simple dinner of freshly dug baked potatoes and herbed honey butter chicken. The late afternoon light was so pretty in our western facing kitchen. It’s softening now, as it does this time of year.

7 Responses

  1. Oh yes. My younger self was always up and running at dawn. That’s when I got it all done. My kids have always known to look for me in the garden during growing season. During the school year I was making plans when I homeschooled and lunches when they went to public. The 55 year old me sits and enjoys her coffee and then meanders out to the garden. It feels so decadent sometimes.

  2. Yes, rest is so regenerating! Just putting your feet up and relaxing your mind…no phone scrolling. It will do wonders for you. Thank you for these daily posts.

  3. I’ve never been an early riser, as a young woman or now middle-life woman. Stories like this are about as foreign to my personal experience and my own sleep requirements (solid 8+hrs for many, many years) as anthropological accounts from other cultures!

    I’ve had a “don’t work too hard” philosophy (didn’t need to burn late night or early morning candles) for my whole adult life so it will be interesting to see what “productivity” looks like as I age, having pushed against that cultural message for so many years already.

    I think we learn what we need to learn about our own rhythms (& life wisdom in general) when we are ready to learn those lessons. If all things could be communicated in words to young people from their elders, what would be the point in aging? What we each know in our bones about ourselves and our lives and the world is the prize and gift of age and eldership.

  4. Always and early riser, but now at 51 I move more tenderly, slowly, if only to appreciate. My family knows I will be in the kitchen in the wee hours of the weekend mornings, but I work at a slower pace to savor what I am doing.

  5. Being a morning person always makes me rise early. But with no more little children to feed, dress and rush to school, I’d like my mornings slow and quiet.

  6. Because my work schedule was always so fractured (home around midnight or so, then back to work again at 9 or 10am with a break in the afternoon before the evening’s work began), my sleep reflected that and afternoon naps were the only way I could get through a long day and then a long night. Now that I am retired, I am finding that I am loving going to bed early and rising early and I have given up the afternoon nap. But oh I loved that feeling of falling deeply asleep in the afternoon for an hour or so. It was by far the most restful sleep I experienced.