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Does life ever get so hectic that you wish you could just hit the pause button and lie around with your feet up for a week, doing nothing?

Yeah, me too.

In fact, last week was one of those weeks. It seemed that every aspect of my life demanded my full attention; the phone didn’t stop ringing, nothing was going smoothly and Murphy’s Law was determined to make me pay for some karmic wrongdoing of the past. Usually, the only way out of a week like that is through it, but last week was different. Last week, I had foot surgery scheduled in the middle of it all. So instead of forging through the chaos with a loose grip on my sanity, I got to hit the pause button on it all and lie around for a week with my feet up, doing nothing…just like I always wished.

Not only did I get to lie around with my feet up, doing nothing; I got to lie around with my feet up, doing nothing…in a super nest.

What’s a super nest, you ask. Let’s venture back a decade, when my then-fiancé got his wisdom teeth out. To help him recuperate, I built what became known as “the nest”, which consisted of cushions stacked carefully next to the couch, creating an extra-wide, extra-soft expanse that we could snuggle in while he recuperated. When it came time for my surgery, he took the nest concept and revolutionized it. The resulting super nest is comprised of two couches facing each other with two ottomans between them, piled high with a downy blankets, facing the big screen TV, that looks something like this…

In other words…heaven.

After my surgery I returned home, groggy and in pain. I spent the afternoon asleep in the super nest and it was, indeed, heavenly. The first day post-op, we loafed in the super nest’s soft warmth, feet up, watching movies and picking through the array of comfort food we’d positioned within arm’s reach. Everything was going great, until Day 2 rolled around…

Among my family and friends, I’m notorious for my love of napping, sleeping and anything else in the relaxation department, which is why what happened next was so weird: I became completely and utterly restless. My eyes wouldn’t stay closed and my mind wouldn’t stop churning. My body simply would not cooperate with the week-long nap I’d been dreaming of.

By Day 3, despite having the perfect conditions for a nap – gray skies, rain beating gently against the windows, the splashy melody of the dishwasher running in the kitchen, and the drone of a nearby fan – I couldn’t sleep. And not only could I not sleep, I couldn’t even sit still. I was itching to get back outside to our biking path, our hiking trails, our happy hour spot by the river. I got so restless that I even scoured Craigslist for “recreational wheelchairs” and “jogging strollers for adults”; anything to get me back to the activities I love.

By Day 4, my muscles were sore from disuse. The pain of my broken foot paled in comparison to the stiffness in my back and neck. This was right around the time I reached the point of saturation. I couldn’t eat any more comfort food, I couldn’t watch another TV show or movie and my mood grew grim. I even lost interest in the book I was reading. And despite the comfort, beauty and structural integrity of the super nest, I just couldn’t lie around with my feet up, doing nothing, any more.

By Day 5, I cancelled my remaining vacation time and returned to work, life, and the chaos I’d left on pause…and I welcomed it all with open arms.

If my week off, lying around with my feet up, doing nothing taught me anything, it’s this: when life gets overwhelming, take a day off and rest. Then start anew.

And also…be careful what you wish for.

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