I have short feedback loops. As I explained in this post, I cannot go for long periods of time in a high energy space without re-filling my well.
I like that post. Here's a bit more of what I had to say.
And what followed was perhaps my favorite part of the whole day - the self directed retreat to quiet corners.
The hush that falls over my brood after being out and about. The natural desire to turn inward, to breathe in.
Outward activities - when our energy is engaged in the world (which may be in or out of the home), alternated with inward activities - when we fill that energy with quiet; is a pattern I've established in my personal time management and in our parenting and homeschooling in general.
The breathe in, breathe out principle.
I woke up yesterday in a cranky mood. First off, I didn't want to get up. That's odd for a Monday morning since I'm usually anxious to get going on my week. I love our hiking and hospitality driven weekends, but I love the return to routine also.
I was completely uninspired about my writing, which I usually face with enthusiasm. I was physically cold, with good reason - we're working out our wood heating routine. The house was messier than I like and I was just out of sorts and I wasn't even bothering to hide it.
My family is nodding their heads.
I finished my ineffectual writing time and said "forget school". Trust me, a mother in that kind of mood does not inspire learning.
Instead I said, "I'm going to the river if you want to come, suit up." Nature is my balm and my sanctuary. My place of both worship and solace.
When given the chance, my kids always want to walk to the river. Nature is as important to them as it is to me, just in other ways. (Think playground.)
We walked and they played. The river dazzled us with her icy beauty. And at various times I asked for quiet (my kids, they do love to talk) because my mind needed that.
We got home and I slept in front of the fire. I got up and made lunch and then I slept again. I didn't open my e-mail all day. I didn't feel sick but my body was telling me, "rest", and I listened.
And while I listened to my body I felt strongly that this week I need to take a break from this space. This very outward activity of blogging, even though I do it from the comfort of my home.
In my monthly cycle I am in the waning period of my creative energies. All things being equal this usually doesn't affect me too much. But all things not being equal, I have nothing left to give.
I have had a tremendous amount of engagement with the world in the past couple months - travel, a conference, hospitality, meeting new friends, blogging up a storm, opening an online store, a live teleconference last Saturday (you'll be able to purchase the audio from that sometime in December).
My body, spirit and mind are saying, "ok Renee, time for a break."
And I'm listening. Not because I'm at the end of my rope, but because I don't want to get to the end. I'm not sick. I'm not overwhelmed. I simply hear the message loud and clear and think, "yes, this is a good time."
It's American Thanksgiving this week. Brienne's birthday is this Sunday. The Holiday season is nigh upon us. And I just feel the deep need to breathe in right now.
To sleep late if I need to. To watch the birds at the feeder (which I'm doing right now). To sit by the fire. To watch some TV on the computer with my kids. To knit and maybe read a good book (I'm currently without a page turner). To prepare for and celebrate Brienne's entry to the age of double digits.
It feels so good to say, "I'm taking a break. I'll be back next week."