I’ve been trying a new experiment. It’s called…a day off.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in the modern day world…there is always something to do. Something to be done. Something to catch up on. You know, life stuff. So whenever I would read about people suggesting the need for REST, it seemed..meant for someone else. I don’t know how they did it, but someone out there must be able to get it all done and rest too. Crazy.
Couple that with being parents, taking care of the house, and running two, no three, businesses (oh, we just added one more…what?) I really didn’t think there was any time in there for that kind of thing. It was indulgent at best and a waste of time at worst. (My poor husband will get the stink eye from me for any length of nap.)
The thing is though, even before I was a mom and had my own businesses…I still didn’t “have time” for that kind of thing. Anyone who knew me then is aware of my ‘go, go, go’ drive and my ability to get TONS of things accomplished on a regular basis. Work. Focus. Work. Keep going. Maybe there would be ‘play’ in there…but nothing that looked like REST. It wasn’t in my vocabulary.
I don’t really know where I got the idea to actually try it. Somewhere something clicked that there may be the slightest chance that actually resting might lead to more productivity in other things. Maybe it was motherhood in general…sometimes it’s hard to function the way you want (i.e. not freaking out all the time) until you take some real time for yourself. Maybe it was the Oolapalooza event where I discovered that Fun was a requirement to boosting my effectiveness in Field & Family. (What’s Oola? Check out http://www.oolalife.com or this previous blog post here.) Perhaps it was the 50K to Pray series that enlightened me to the feeling that God was serious about the whole ‘rest day’ thing.
Whatever it was…I am knee deep into this experiment.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to give this whole “day off” thing a try. For me that means no Young Living or Chiropractic office work. A day where I put my phone down (mostly) and focus on those around me. I remain flexible in where the day can take me, the most important thing is to be present in that day.
So far we have spent those days in a myriad of ways; family hikes, board games, visiting family, and making dinners together. And you know what? Every week that has followed has felt LESS scattered. LESS busy. LESS frantic. MORE focused. MORE connected. MORE grounded.
Maybe there’s something to this whole “rest thing” after all.
I am not perfect at it, that’s for sure. And as the holidays approach, I am looking at my calendar and struggling to hold on to that full day of nothing planned…but I feel that the intention of it, whether carving out an hour, a half day, or a whole weekend, is part its power. We may not be able to rest for the “perfect” amount of time (what is that anyway?), but keeping our intention for rest in the forefront of our minds is key. Are we being present for ourselves and listening to what we need? Are we being present with our family? How are we spending our time on earth, and are we happy with that? Is what we are doing nourishing us or depleting us? What will we change about that tomorrow?
What is your relationship to rest? Do you have a regular routine to fill yourself up?