My mum is one of the people who know how to actually care for themselves. Most of the people in the world, myself included, often neglect the fact that we have to care for ourselves. We often see the lack of things like money, time, space and a few other things as obstacles and hindrances. If I must be honest, I would say it is a lot easier to care for yourself with a little more money in your pocket and enough time on your hands, but my mum never let the lack of these things stop her. I never gave it much thought until yesterday. I gave it a lot of thought.
Some of her self care didn’t even require much. She had very simple activities that didn’t make any sense to me, but now, oh now I see. One particular activity she called ‘Ma ahumbe’, meaning ‘take some fresh air’ but translates directly as ‘drink air’. I liked this activity. I don’t know if it was always pre-planned or if it was usually spur of the moment but she would usually just say “se za ma nen ahumbe” which means “let us go and get some fresh air”. My memory is not so clear on the ‘us’ but one person I know was always there with me is my immediate elder sister, we would get into the back seat of my mum’s Honda prelude and we would drive all around our town, for no reason at all. The fun part for us was how my mum would open the small rectangle on the roof of the car and let us put our hands through and feel the air. I didn’t know why she did it then but it was fun for me.
Yesterday I couldn’t leave my bed, I was resting because my body was not happy about the stress I had put it through at work for two straight days. My husband was out of town so it was just me and my son, SonTer. I stayed in bed from morning when I woke until about 4pm. I finished a novel I was reading and watched 2 cheesy romance movies. I was tired of resting, sadly but honestly, I don’t know how to rest… I am still coaching myself. I wanted to take a walk, but my body wasn’t up to it. I just lay there and let my mind wander around and tried to figure out what to do and then i decided to go for a drive, so I said to Son “se za ma ahumbe”. He had no idea what I said but he loves to go out and before I could get ready, he was at the door. We drove round the town, for one hour, for no reason.
I am 38 years old I was doing this for the first time and all I can say is, it was totally refreshing. I made sure the music wasn’t as loud as we usually play it so that we could talk. I pointed out things and explained things just like my mum used to. It was totally therapeutic. I felt like I hit a reset button. What made it much more beautiful was when SonTer said “mummy, thank you for doing this”.
I’m going over today to tell my mum “Thank you mummy for doing it for me”.