The red button


When I was teaching I did so much every day that I literally couldn’t keep track of it all. The number of human interactions alone is overwhelming to think about before I even consider the actual work I did throughout the day. Today I honestly cannot imagine how I did that every single day. Why today? Because it’s been a very good day and I got what I thought was a lot done. And then, at 13:44 exactly (I looked at the clock) I suddenly had to stop. Halt.

The day went like this…I woke up, made tea for myself, read, made tea for my husband, got dressed, made breakfast, cleaned up from breakfast, made a list of errands that needed doing, did some ironing, put a small load of laundry in, washed some delicate things by hand, went to the grocery, came home and put the few things I bought away, embroidered a little, made a salad, ate it, cleaned up from lunch, called a friend, cut up chicken for stir fry tonight (felt tired but ignored it!)  cut up peppers and onions for same stir fry, cleaned up and suddenly could not do one more thing.

I could barely make the tea and walk out to the balcony where I collapsed on the bench and fell asleep for a few minutes. When I woke up I felt much better and drank my tea listening to the birds sing and the water in the fountain in our courtyard.

The lesson here? Listen to yourself when your brain tells you to stop. Don’t do one more thing. Not even cut up two peppers and four onions.

I was at my homeopath last week and asked her how I got into this mess. Not only is my mental state less than twinkling, my body chemistry is a mess. She answered;

“There are three things you have to listen to inside yourself to be healthy; your mind, your spirit and your body. I think your mind and your spirit and even your body were all trying to tell you for many, many years to slow down or change direction or even stop for a moment but you ignored all three of them. Finally your body decided to stop working in order to get your attention. It decided that enough was enough and it was going to shut you down no matter what. ”

It’s a bit like the big red button on an assembly line – the one anyone can push when something has gone wrong. The person pushing the button knows that to continue to run the assembly line would be a disaster. So they push the red button and the whole factory simply stops. All at once. Nothing more happens until the problem is fixed. My body pushed the red button.”

I’m glad it did. And now, it’s time to sit and drink tea.


3 thoughts on “The red button

  • Hi, just a small observation: never, never iron and then get them wet. It is not good for your bones.

    There is only one life, enjoy it!!!!


  • Hi Kathy,

    I have followed your blog for several years now and sensed that your last year or so of teaching was becoming a concern to you. Please take time to smell the flowers and enjoy life. Your stitching blog has inspired me no end and I am glad that you are able to “indulge” this passion so fully with the City and Guilds course.


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