from 5/23/22 newsletter
It feels good to be back and writing again. This past week has not been without its challenges of illness and pain flare-ups, but I always appreciate when I am able to get back into the flow of things. Being forced into self-care and rest often seems to come at a time when my projects and meetings have my calendar full to bursting. I say things like “I don’t have time to be in pain/be sick” and “I just need to get through [XYZ] and then I can rest.”
These statements remind me how much grind culture is embedded in many of us as the most important part of our lives. Defined by our careers and the “work” we do, it’s easy to understand why so many people experience burnout, chronic fatigue, and ill-timed illness. So many of us are unable to imagine a world where this isn’t the norm and may even see that world as frightening or dangerous, but I wonder what would happen if we were all given the opportunity to rest. It makes me question the entire concept of value.
Who are we when we are napping, resting, or lounging? Is there a difference between the value we have when we are resting for pleasure and when we are resting out of necessity? Where does our “purpose” go when we rest? Where does our “value” go? What might happen to our sense of self if we were allowed to rest for the remainder of our lives?
Capitalism and “the grind” have convinced us that we must have value or purpose and if we don’t, we need to find it, otherwise, existence doesn’t make any sense. And I just don’t think that’s true.
Perhaps it’s “chaotic energy” to find comfort in dreaming about a world where I might be useless or purposeless, especially to capitalism, but I daydream about it anyway.
Maybe you would enjoy daydreaming about it as well (aka, go get some goddamn rest).