I’ve been letting work take over my life lately, and it’s had a toll on my mental and physical health. I’ll think nothing of working a twelve-hour day, but taking a break to eat some lunch? Forget about it, that’s way too difficult to manage! Flying around the country is fine, but going for a walk in the sunshine? I don’t have time for that! It’s funny how my body is always the first thing I stop taking care of when I’m stressed, yet if I cared for it more in that moment, I’d feel better! Without this body of mine, nothing I do would be possible. But I forget this all the time, so habituated to taking my wellbeing for granted. Now I’ve been reminded again.
I spent all last week working at another office, 635km away from where I live. By 9:30pm on Friday, when my flight was due to depart, I was beyond ready to go home. But the weather had decided otherwise – a thick fog rolled in over the hills, cancelling all flights until the following day.
With the warped perspective of the exhausted, not being able to be reunited with my boyfriend and sleep in my own bed that night seemed like the world’s greatest disaster. Tears of self-pity blurred my vision as I tried to figure out what to do.
Thankfully, friends of mine came to my rescue, bundling me up in their car and ferrying me to their house. They made lots of soothing sounds like you do for a baby (yes, this 27-year-old professional woman had completely regressed), handed me Be Happy tea in a mug that said It’s a good day to have a good day and sent me off to bed with a treasure of a book by Cheryl Strayed.
It was not lost on me as I drifted off to sleep that out of the fog had come this gift of being cared for.
The next morning the fog returned and I prepared myself for a long wait at the airport. As I stared out the window at the grey, I wondered why the fog was keeping me in this city I was so desperate to leave. I decided to surrender to its hold rather than fight it. I bought myself a coffee and settled in, enjoying the time just to be still and breathe. No to-do lists, no problems to solve, no pressure, no stress. Just me in my body, calm.
The fog lifted.