A Year of Gifts
I have a confession to make. I felt compelled to write today’s post because I really needed a reminder that it’s imperative to give myself permission to rest on occasion. And not only give myself permission to rest, but to actually do it!
I’m not talking about the rest that comes when I collapse into bed at midnight, exhausted after a jam-packed day, and I sleep so hard that my pillow is wet from drool when I wake up in the morning. I’m talking about resting while awake. Doing nothing. Switching out of that mode where I always have to be doing something productive to allowing myself to just “be”.
I suspect some of you could benefit from this reminder as well, so let’s talk about it.
First of all, nothing good can come out of pushing ourselves to always be doing something productive, day in and day out, for too long of a time period. We’ve all read the stories and know we need some R&R once in a while.
I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I find it incredibly hard to flip the switch off. There is always something that “needs” to be done. I feel guilty when I choose to do something that my brain doesn’t deem important. Ugh, I fear too many of us allow guilt to drive our days. What would life look like if we found a way to banish some of the guilt? I suspect it would be more relaxing!
So I’ve been thinking about ways I can fit a little more rest into each day. My mind keeps coming back to the following three things:
First, I’ll practice more patience. This is top of mind for me today because, just this week, I witnessed something that struck me as a sobering indicator as to how impatient some people can be. On two different occasions I watched people in front of me in fast-food drive-thru lanes place their orders but then drive off before they got to the window to pay. I don’t remember seeing this before.
The first time, a few minutes had passed with no movement in the line. Suddenly, the guy right in front of me pulls out of line and speeds off, his tires sending loose rock flying, leaving no doubt as to his frustration level over being kept waiting. Then on Wednesday evening, after a long day and no supper, I again stopped at a drive-thru, surprised at the long line for such a late hour. It was one of those configurations where two lines feed into one. Again, things were moving slowly (same franchise, different location). This time, two vehicles in front of me and one behind me drove off. The two in front of me had already placed their orders.
When I got to the first window to pay, the cashier knew which order was mine. He was doing his best to keep things straight but he mentioned getting yelled at by people because it was taking too long. He said he didn’t know what else to do: they were short-staffed. We had a nice, quick visit while waiting for the line to progress. By the time I got to the second window to pick up my food, it was chaos. Orders had been filled for cars that had driven off. It was a mess, made worse by lack of patience.
I had to wonder if those same people could have cooked faster for themselves at home. All I could think was “Slow down and breathe people!” I also thought I probably shouldn’t have eaten so much fast-food this week…but that is off topic for this post.
As a society, instant gratification is often expected and demanded. Not good.
So personally, I vow to work on finding and practicing patience, even when things aren’t moving along quite as quickly as I would like. This mindset can be helpful in finding time to rest. Some things can wait. If they have to get done, they’ll get done eventually.
Second, I need to unplug from the electronic world, even if only for a short time. I find myself feeling like I always need to make myself available, at home and at the office. We took out our land line at home. Now I feel like I need to have my cell phone close at hand all the time. Someone might need something. Which is, of course, ridiculous. I can remember(vaguely) when we’d leave the house for hours on end and not have access to a phone. If someone needed to get a hold of me on the phone, they could leave a message and I’d call them back when I got home. The world didn’t stop. People waited. It wasn’t a problem. I don’t think the world will stop spinning if I go sit in the porch, without one single electronic device, and take twenty minutes to listen to the birds, close my eyes for a cat nap, or read one chapter out of a physical book. I just have to do it.
And lastly, I have to remind myself to simply slow down. Why rush, rush, rush through every day? What are we rushing towards? The end will get here sooner than most of us would like. It is up to me to find the balance in every day – work enough, play enough, rest enough so when I go to bed at night, I’m content with how I chose to spend the precious gift that every day truly is.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go relax on the old porch swing at the back of the house. Please give yourself permission to rest today as well. You know you’ve earned it! Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!