I originally intended to call this blog post “Rejuvenation”. Then I got to thinking about the etymology of the word. It stems from the Latin for “young”, ie “juve”, as in “juvenile”, etc.
I have not spent the last six days intending to “re-young” myself. At all.
Instead, I have been endeavouring towards the restoration of balance, equality, and repose within my being – physically, mentally, emotionally – hence, “equilibrium”, another marvellous Latin contribution to our weirdly and wonderfully mongrel language.
About this time last year I participated in an official “detox” overseen by my naturopath Hayley Stockbridge, one of those individuals to whom the description “glowing with health” can be truly be applied. It’s as though she is solar-powered. I wanted me some of that, hence the detox. I learned a great deal during it, and maintained many of the new habits I began – green smoothies, huge amounts of veggies, less and better quality meat, non-meat protein sources, etc. But, as most of us do with the dawn of a new year, I wasn’t feeling particularly great, or healthy, or slim, or energised. Adjustments were needed, and I embarked on an informal, relaxed version of a “detox” which happily coincided with Captain Chatterbox and Mademoiselle Headstrong having a Hunter Valley holiday with Nan and Pop. No alcohol + no coffee + two children during school holidays = a recipe for failure and a probable mental breakdown.
I also happened to read an article regarding Ayuerveda and its benefits in cleansing and readjusting the digestive system to heal it and re-establish its ability to function correctly, absorb nutrients, rid the body of waste and toxins, and promote a general overall improvement in one’s health. This ancient wisdom is inspiring a wellspring of new scientific understanding of the importance of the gut in relation to both physical and mental health. I urge you to watch the two-part Catalyst special on this fascinating subject here.
I was inspired, eschewed booze for six days and coffee for five, drank litres of lemony water and Ayurvedic spiced tea (hot water with coriander, cumin and fennel seeds. A bit like an Indian stock), ate my own bodyweight in vegetables and fruits, avoided sugar, and embraced plain Greek yoghurt and nuts.
I also soaked in tepid Epsom Salts baths (fabulous for improving “skin tone” [ie, cellulite]), walked, did yoga and Pilates, swam in the sea (more of that beautiful salty water!) and … rested. I know all this sounds like a frenzy of activity and organisation, but I promise you it wasn’t. I was determined to make the most of a quiet, unstructured week by moving calmly, being gentle with myself, and giving myself permission to embrace that lovely Italian notion la dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing) as much as possible. I haven’t slept so soundly since … I can’t remember.
Return of the Children happened yesterday at lunchtime. I eased myself back into reality with a small, perfectly formed coffee at Cornersmith followed by a walk in the fresh, cool, rainy air, so welcome after the stinking, humid heat of the previous few days, to the library and then home.
It was wonderful to see my kidlets again. It was wonderful to sit down to a delicious, wholesome family dinner together last night. It was wonderful to snuggle with them and The Husband last night and this morning.
It was also wonderful having a glass of champagne.
I’m having another one now.
I did make a new batch of bone broth this week.
Champagne is much nicer.