Friday, 7 May 2021

Kinds of Rest

 Good morning, readers! Revolutionary new technology today. I am dictating, and BA is typing. My tendonitis has come roaring back after hours of note taking for work. Complicating blogging, Google won't let me leave comments. So thank you to the reader who made my day on Wednesday morning and to Anonymous for the respectful dialogue.

It is ironic to write about rest with my arm in a frozen wine-sleeve, totalled by work. However, I wanted to impart some of the lessons I learned on holiday. Principally, there are three types of rest: mentally agile physical rest; physically agile mental rest; and total rest.

For the first two days by the sea, I mostly lay on a sofa under a yellow blanket and read voraciously. It was the kind of deep reading The Shallows describes as an anomaly in human consciousness. Books literally made us more intelligent -- not the content as much as the form. Reading is work, but it's refreshing work. Normally I find blogging refreshing, too, but obviously not when I'm in physical pain. 

By Thursday, I felt it was time to go for a long walk, so BA and I walked for six hours to and and through the countryside. That was a great mental break. Seeing all the green and getting physically tired in a good way was a real restoration. On Friday, we had another country walk, lasting six hours, and on Saturday we took a six-hour circular route through the countryside and along the sea. On Sunday, we walked about five hours along the sea shore toward a ruined castle. After that, it got rather rainy, so our walks got a bit shorter.

At "home", before and after the walks, I studied Polish, finished reading Peter Kwansniewski's The Holy Bread of Eternal Life, wrote a review of it in longhand, wrote a Polish précis of Mulieris dignitatem chapter four, and read an Agatha Christie. That probably doesn't sound restful to everyone, but I would go out of my mind if I did no intellectual activity all day any day. In fact, doing my intellectual duty made me feel free to relax afterwards, and after supper, I had no problem falling asleep.

Total rest involves very good sleep. I noticed long ago that some TV shows interfere with sleep. On holiday, I began to wake up worrying about characters in a French drama we had started watching. Eventually, I decided not to watch this drama any more, but to watch Youtube episodes of a Canadian log cabin sensation, "My Self-reliance". 

We don't have a TV at home, and the rental flat had an enormous "smart" TV that played Netflix and Youtube, where "My Self-reliance" lives. BA is a big fab of Sean James, the self-reliant log-cabin builder, and I found his homespun wisdom wonderfully soporific. It was a great relief just to lie on a sofa after supper and watch Sean James pound nails or cook an extra pan of eggs for his dog. Falling asleep that way was total rest.

So those are my three kinds of rest. I asked BA what we had learned from our holiday and he said, "We like reading and walking and eating, and you still find television difficult." 

Many thanks to BA for typing out this post.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of rest. So much of what we do in our leisure time does not fall into any of these categories. TV, social media, Internet surfing are all too stimulating and leave us wired and tired resulting in poor sleep. A vicious circle!My husband a and I are trying to ensure we get more time where we can really relax and these 3 ways are a helpful way to schedule this.