Day of rest

Friday I turned in the bulk of the edits for ‘Family Feasts for $75 a Week’ which means that yesterday was the first day since Thanksgiving that I didn’t feel the weight of a huge project (or a wedding and a huge project) looming. I woke up wondering what I to do with the unaccustomed freedom.

Before I really thought about it, I was knee deep in major jobs I’d been putting off for weeks. I did our taxes. I filled out the FAFSA. I cleaned the little girls room (net result: 4 garbage bags to give away and 2 more to throw away.) I decided to bleach my tub, which caused a major disaster (see previous post). I even made Ethiopian food for dinner, which many of y’all know is a minimum of two hours kitchen time. (My family slurped it up greedily, sighing over how long it had been since we’d had t’ibs and injera and shiro, so it was worth it.)

As you might imagine the day was done almost before it began, and except for the unfortunate incident with the wet-vac, I did have a great sense of accomplishment. But at bedtime, I was practically comatose. Like, wanting not to move for 4 days. After listening to the day’s activities, my friend Laura (aka my son in law’s momma) suggested that I needed to get better at relaxing during my free time. As in, don’t be ‘productive’. Preferably at least one afternoon per week. Sigh.

Since she is very smart lady and a recovering do-aholic herself, I knew I should listen. Today after barely making it through church, I plumped myself down in my best attempt to do nothing. I was only somewhat successful. I did get a nap– a whole 20 minutes with my 4 year old– ah sweet. I started a book — read 4 whole pages. I read 4 stories to the 4 year old. I played some horsie board game with my dear horse-obsessed 11 year old. And then it was time to start dinner.

I don’t think I quite have this thing mastered. I may need more practice. I think I’ll give it a try again. Maybe next Sunday.


  1. You go girl, little baby steps to begin with and then suddenly you will have loads of spare time and you will wonder how it took you so long! 20 mins is a good start. Wish I got that!

  2. Knitting. Relaxing and productive at the same time:)

  3. I played a horsie board game yesterday, too! We have 5 kids, and our 11 year old was an “only child” for about 2 hours yesterday and I wanted to take a nap AND spend quality time with only one! The board game won! But we had to make up some of the directions and that part of the game was lost.

  4. you have to remain busy to keep all those plates spinning (did you ever see those performers balancing spinning plates on long poles?) well done and even 20 minutes beats no down time at all. Hooray on finishing the book project – and of course we’ve all rejoiced with the wedding project. Now – perhaps you need to name it – The Rest Project (R&R for zero cents a day)

  5. We mamas have a very hard time learning how to pace ourselves. I think you should plan on several more practice periods. This is something you want to get right.

  6. Mmmm….I fell in love with Ethiopian food in 1989 when I was in Washington DC for a conference and the organizers did a “dine around” where groups went to different restaurants. I chose Ethiopian because I’d never had it and was hooked. I went back a couple of times to the same restaurant when my brother was in law school at Georgetown. Haven’t had Ethiopian in awhile, and have never attempted to make it myself, but am game to try anything . Any recipe recommendations for a beginner?

  7. You know honestly Mary, it sounds like your day of rest was restful. I don’t think sleeping all afternoon is what your friend meant. You snoozed a bit, you enjoyed time with your children…sounds very restful to me! I think perhaps you should define what restful means to you! Your day sounds like my Sundays too!

  8. I agree with Beth! Reading stories to my kids IS rest! So is playing a board game (although some times I think they should be called “bored” games!). For me, anything that recharges my batteries is rest – and spending time with my kids (especially one-on-one time) really does recharge my batteries.

    Having said that, I really enjoy taking naps and having an hour of uninterrupted reading time would be heaven. But with lots of kids, it doesn’t happen often so I take what I can get, and try really hard to enjoy it!


  9. You certainly deserve the break! Good luck making it happen more often =)

  10. As I read the 2nd paragraph, this is what went into my brain “I was knee deep in major Sobs Iā€™d been putting off for weeks. I did our taxes. ” There’s me thinking that you spent the weekend weeping in a fit of delayed emotion made no better by having done the taxes (that always makes me weep, at least!) So glad to hear it was merely a crisis of not enough rest. I’m sure you’ll get better at it with pratice…what a great thing to have to practice getting better at! I could give you lessons if you’ll help me figure out how to get that much accomplished in one day! šŸ™‚