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  • Writer's pictureDr. Stacey Chimimba Ault

A legacy of rest

Why rest?

Rest often alludes me ...

I sometimes worry. A lot. My emotions are often hidden behind a zoom screen or face mask. I am tired. I harbor the stress that belongs to myself and others in my body. I tuck away fear deep in my inner thoughts. She (fear) dare not show her face during the day time, as we are both just too busy. Me, busy producing, caring, holding space for others, meeting the expectations that don't seem to diminish in spite of the fact we are all tired. Her, worrying, planning, thinking. She is nocturnal and doesn't like to sleep alone, so waits until bed time to show her face. Now we are both up!

It is easier to write about rest than to do it.

I research and write about rest because I am talking to myself. I am searching. I am trying to learn. I am practicing being gentle with myself because this is the most loving, restful thing I have to give. I also write about joy and peace and love because I value these things and want more of them in my life.

Last week, one of my nephews told me that me and his mom are the hardest working people he knows.

He knows a lot of people.

As he was growing up he saw us both working full time, caring for our families, earning a doctorate, busy. He still sees us doing these things. I felt sad when he said that we were the hardest working people he knows. Mine and my friend's (nephew's mom) parents all value hard work. All have known and/or seen poverty. We carry hard work in our bones. We are both tired.

Instead of striving to be hardworking, I long to be known for loving and resting and laughing and living. For picking up the phone when my nephew calls because I am rested enough to have a conversation with those I love.

I wonder what a life of ease feels like.

Before I die I will know this. I will not be remembered for working hard. Collectively we will re-imagine our relationship to rest and liberation. We will create spaces of work that honor our humanity and encourage rest.

I need this for me ... We need this for us.

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