rest.

Last year (2019), I read a book by Jenny Odell called How to Do Nothing.

At the time, I was... ready to be done with social media. I had just gotten over a pretty rough spot in my life, including a breakup, and I just needed to rest. To worry less about the news or what people thought of me.

Social media has a funny way of making you want to do things for external validation and approval. A lot of advertising is made possible by making people feel inadequate or irate.

Anyway, Jenny Odell's book really struck a chord with me. More than anything, it gave me permission to just... exist.

I didn't know that I sought that permission so deeply in my bones until it was given.

And so I rested. I licked my wounds. I exercised. I read books. I processed my break-up. I went to therapy. I rebuilt my relationships with C. and my kids. I left a job that didn't respect my boundaries. I tore my calf muscle running, and let it heal. I pursued my spirituality. I enjoyed the outdoors.

Sometimes it seems like maybe you just need to do one more thing and you'll finally get to where you're going.

And maybe that's true. But also: it's okay to just exist. Really.

I'll close this little corner of my wiki with these words from the Tao Te Ching, ch. 22:

Yield and overcome;
Bend and be straight;
Empty and be full;
Wear out and be new;
Have little and gain;
Have much and be confused.

Therefore the wise embrace the one
And set an example to all.
Not putting on a display,
They shine forth.
Not justifying themselves,
They are distinguished.
Not boasting,
They receive recognition.
Not bragging,
They never falter.
They do not quarrel,
So no one quarrels with them.
Therefore the ancients say,
"Yield and overcome."
Is that an empty saying?
Be really whole,
And all things will come to you.