I really love the idea of a bed day. You know, when you stay in bed all day watching films, eating crap and achieving nothing? Yet the reality normally involves me lying on the duvet, learning a script, sending e-mails and attempting to do a yoga pose...all at the same time. Once again life- or perhaps my meddling mind- has taken over and turns the ‘bed day’ into a another routine ‘tick of the box’ occasion.
So after having a double arthroscopy on my knees (key-hole surgery) some might have said that I had been blessed with forced ‘down time.’
For once I didn’t have to feel guilty about skipping the gym. Missing work. Or simply not cleaning the bathroom. All of the above had been cleared from my day-to day schedule, leaving me with a few simple knee exercises and one big word dominating the to-do list (triple underlined in black marker pen)…
At first this didn’t phase me. I thought brilliant, I can finally:
-make that scrap book
-play the guitar
-sort out my clothes
-or simply read a book
Regrettably none of the above was accomplished. Or even started. Instead I spent most of day 1 and 2 hobbling around the house, making endless cups of tea and googling problems that I don’t have (oh google- what a blessing and what a curse! I simultaenously love you and hate you for providing the world with with too much, easily accessible information!)
Who knew relaxing could be so hard? Something so simple and yet apparently impossible. Google diagnosed me with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) because:
I had a short attention span and was easily distracted
I was constantly changing activity or task
I was unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
But of course this is not the answer. Google is generalising symptoms that I imagine are familiar to most people working in the capital. We are so busy rushing about on a daily basis, that when we have ‘free time’ we don’t know how to behave. In our typical ‘to-do list’ fashion we fill up this time with gym classes, social outings and unecessary trips to Ikea, thus avoiding sitting silently with ourselves and finding zen.
So on day 3 I sat- albeit with a bit of fidgeting- lit a candle that I haven’t used in 3 years and listened to my thoughts. It took a while for the “why are you doing this you should be doing this” thoughts to remove themselves. But eventually something magical happened- my mind went blank. Beautiful and blank. Free and open.
This was a real breakthrough because I am normally useless at this sort of stuff. It is the reason why I never paint my fingernails because I can’t bear to sit still for so long.
Day 4: It’s evolved already into a mixed meditation and pamper session. It’s definitely not what the Dalai Lama would have done- but I am Katie and this is how I relax: I painted my nails, put on a face mask... and stopped. For 15 blissful and momentous minutes.