A little lesson from tea and toast

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The simply sublime pleasure of tea and toast after being sick all day with food poisoning. That moment when your body let’s you back in. When the thought of food doesn’t make you wretch and your body informs you that tea and toast will do just nicely as a peace offering. 

Perhaps this is solely a British peace offering and for others it is something different post-rejecting something violently from your body. Everyone knows what their personal peace offering would be.

All I know is that this is special moment. The joy of hearing birdsong instead of my own tragic groans. The joy of daylight after duvet darkness. I am left empty. Empty of small worries, excess needs and the pressure I didn’t realise I was putting on myself. Because all of this takes energy that today I don’t have.

Now my insides have finally stilled, I can appreciate the sense of order my body works constantly to maintain. Such a quiet and humble worker, most of the time I don’t even realise what a great job it is doing. I am reminded that everyday I wake up and feel fine is another day my body has performed a miracle that’s so easy to take for granted.

I venture into the garden. The inflatable swan smiles at me and I feel utterly human. I feel grateful for a husband that knew exactly what to do. Who I watched wipe it all away with his hand in the sink. He didn’t even flinch. It was touching and disgusting all at the same time. 

His instant response to needs of toast, hugs, to be alone, Mad Men season 5 and the words ‘yes of course’ to every small thing.

I aim to be strong, confident, productive and self-efficient so much of the time I forgot how nice it is to not make any effort and to be taken care of by someone else. I had zero energy to do anything but just be and wait for my body to do what it needed to do.

I have been so focused on self-care recently, and of course my work is all about tuning into your own body, your internal world, that I forgot that one aspect of self-care is knowing that we all need to be cared for on a regular basis by someone else. To lay down the striving, trying and doing for a moment and turn our gaze outwards to someone we can trust with our needs is important. 

This was a most unpleasant day, but by the evening I could do nothing but sit back and let this reminder wash over me. Sometimes the difference between making your own cup of tea and someone doing it of for you, just how you like it of course ( the shade of brown has never been so important), is huge.