A while back, my favorite author/teaching Pastor, Shauna Niequist wrote about pajamas, in her fabulous book “Present over Perfect”. She wrote about a time that she was working on learning to take better care of herself. She wrote that one of the first things she was told to STOP doing was sleeping in workout clothes–you know, t-shirts, sweatpants, yoga pants etc. Why do women try to relax and sleep in clothes that make them think of being active?, Shauna asked. Shauna was told to go out and buy REAL pajamas. Nice ones.
She did. And she goes on to describe how different it feels when you are getting ready for bed in real pajamas. I read this, and tucked it away in my mind for later reference.
Before we went on our vacation to St. John, I was in Kohl’s looking for a small size vacation wallet and I absent mindedly wandered into the pajama section. I realized, it had been YEARS since I bought actual pajamas. Not since High School really. It was in college that I started living in sweat pants, leggings and workout clothes. It was easy. If you had to run out for any reason, you were already dressed….It was also, in college, that I became a workaholic. Working two and three jobs to put myself through when my Dad got sick and my family fell on hard times. I started waitressing and nannying and teaching preschool….all while maintaining a high B average- in a double major. (I SO know I could’ve graduated with a 4.0 if I had not had so many jobs…) Sleep became a liability at this point in my life. It just got in the way of all that I needed to do to survive. That was when the running started. (not ACTUAL running- I ACTUALLY can’t run to the end of my driveway)…..The running to keep up with everyone. And the perfectionism. And the drive to help everyone. And the addiction to those stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. My drugs of choice. The addiction to the multitasking and the busyness . No more pajamas for this girl. They just got in the way of accomplishing stuff…..They were a temptation to rest.
I stopped in Kohl’s and looked at those pajamas and nightgowns. The pretty, soft, cozy fabrics. Just looking at them invited pampering and slowing down. A demarcation of day vs. night, of work vs. rest. I remembered Shauna’s book, and what it said about pajamas, and self-care. I don’t want to be the woman who is too busy to rest anymore. Sleep is no longer my enemy. Sleep is my friend. Sleep helps me to step away from the busyness of the day. Sleep restores me. I decided, right then and there, that I wanted pajamas. LOTS of them. The prettiest and softest ones. I bought them all- it felt illicit and naughty…..and GREAT. I broke my new pajamas and nightgowns in on St. John. I put them on now, at night, after my lavender vanilla baths. When I am relaxed and pampered. It reminds me of being a little girl- when things were so much simpler……I slip into my soft, welcoming bed, and I curl up with my book friends and my warm, strong husband and I let go of the day. I don’t think about what still needs to be done. I don’t think about what will need doing tomorrow. I rest. I sleep. I restore. I am no longer a machine of accomplishment. I am not able to solve everything. I don’t even want to anymore. I feel, at the end of every day, that I have done enough. I thank God for all He has given me….and I rest. In my new pajamas❤️