Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Resting

"I am writing these words as a route map/ an artifact for survival/ a chronicle of buried treasure/ a mourning/ for this place we are about to be leaving/ a rudder for my children     your children/ our lovers     our hopes      braided/ from the dull wharves of Thompkinsville/ to Zimbabwe   Chad    Azania."-Audre Lorde "On My Way Out I Passed Over You and the Verrazano Bridge" 

Rest. Break. Tired. When do you rest? I mean really rest. I have been resting and taking it easy since my surgery a couple of weeks ago. While I was away from home, while I was in Florida I was able to rest without guilt. But as soon as I came home, I felt pressure and no one had said anything to me other than, "Kai, make sure you rest." But when I got home I wanted to clean, unpack,  and get organized because I had work to do, writing to do, archival research, and interviews to conduct. It is hard to rest when rest is coupled with guilt. In fact, that kind of rest doesn't feel like rest at all...stress. Self care is so important for us academics, especially academics of color. I watch my friends and colleagues who are older and more advanced try to balance it all but it is stressful. I see them work tirelessly and we know that Black women especially die young in the academy, but I want to live long and I want my comrades to live long. I want us to be able to take care of ourselves without guilt; that is freedom. Rest without guilt. So how do you take care of yourself? How do you motivate yourself when you're tired?  How do you balance it all?

Please respond because I could use some tips:)