Give It A Rest
Our bodies need it. Crave it. And will shut down when we don’t have enough of it.
So why is it so hard to do?
Maybe it’s just me. Being productive is naturally invigorating for me…that need for accomplishment fulfills my Type A, Enneagram 3, ESTJ self. Marking all the things off my to-do list. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Accomplishing my professional goals to lead and grow my team. Pursuing my dreams of becoming a widely known speaker and writer.
All of which are very good and worthy goals. Right?!
Whether you have a personality like mine or not, I have a sneaking suspicion we all struggle with giving ourselves the permission to SLOW. DOWN.
Because let's be honest:
Busyness is a little bit addicting.
As a society, as women, we wear it like a badge of honor so when people ask us how we’re doing, we can proudly boast, “Oh, friend, I’m SO busy!”.
Because if we didn’t have an enormous to-do list and commitments and parties to attend and things to do, we would be perceived as an invaluable member of society…unproductive…not needed.
I preach often that busyness isn’t a bad thing if you are doing what fills your cup, what brings you joy. But sometimes, even then, we can overdo it.
I’m speaking from experience here. Over the past two months, I have filled my schedule so very, very full. Jam packed with amazingly wonderful opportunities and experiences – all of which do fill me with joy. But I hadn't allowed myself margin in my life. Enough space and time for the unexpected, which will always happen.
You see, our family put our house on the market, expecting it to sell quickly. But after 8 long months of showings and open houses and heartbreak when contracts fell through, it finally sold. We quickly found another beautiful home to buy and began putting all the plans into place – new carpet, paint, landscaping, YOU NAME IT. But 20 hours before we were to close on our new and old home, we received devasting news.
The sellers hadn’t disclosed critical information that prevented us from buying their home, which quite literally meant we were going to be homeless in the span of a few hours. So we frantically began the search for a temporary place to live, and amazingly, found a rental property that allowed us to be closer to town and our kids to stay in their schools.
Even though we were enormously relieved to have found a roof for our heads, it was a very stressful time in our family’s life. To add to the mix, I had three major speaking engagements, two trips out of town, a weekly Bible class to teach, board meetings to run, lunches to pack, laundry to do and an organization to run.
The insane amount of pressure to be mentally and physically strong became overwhelming and I had a breakdown moment one weekend.
You know, the kind of breakdown that causes you to snip at your spouse, take the slightest comment personally, get hyper obsessive about the tiniest little things (that really don’t matter!) and then break into a sudden outburst of tears while sitting at a stop light.
I realized something right in that moment, sitting in my car., ugly crying. I am worn out. I had taken on just a tad bit too much. I needed rest.
It truthfully was the most amazingly freeing revelation. It was like my heart finally told my head what it already knew. My body and mind was tired.
So I committed then and there to take the month of November off. No more new speaking gigs, volunteer activities, special projects or travel. I would fulfill the obligations I had at work and then focus on my three beautiful children and handsome hubs. I would tip my teeter-totter back to the priorities I hold near and dear to my heart.
And I couldn’t feel more fulfilled because of it.
If you pause to think about it, what is holding you back from taking rest?