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August 15, 2010

So, this isn’t a recipe for the kitchen but I suppose, as cheesy and cliche as it sounds, it’s a recipe for my life. A recipe for a healthier, happier life. One word: rest.

Maybe it’s just me, but I notice that it seems the whole of American society is on hyperdrive, always going, going, going, in every direction, taking no time to slow down. Rest doesn’t seem to be in people’s vocabularies. People don’t want to miss out on opportunities, so they say yes to everything and say no to nothing. Eventually, this will lead to one thing: burnout.

I’ve been there, I’ve done that and I don’t want to burnout again. I’m thankful for the wise words of a friend and former boss from eight years ago – if I don’t learn to slow down now and say no, I will be forty years old, burnt out, frustrated and always catering to others. Words that scared me and words that definitely helped put things in perspective. I’m twenty-eight-years-old today and I’m still learning the balance of letting my “yes” be “yes” and my “no” be “no”, learning to prioritize what is important, being wise to commit but yet be giving of my time, and learning to take care of myself, physically, spiritually and emotionally. It’s definitely a juggling act, with working forty hours a week, being a wife, handling household duties, having fun with friends, etc. Sometimes, I do miss out on things when I have to say no (though, I’ve got great friends and family who understand that I value rest). Sometimes, it’s difficult to be alone, to sit and be still. But again, I’m thankful for my friend’s advice, because I’m better at resting now than I was eight years ago.

After a fast-paced summer (albeit all fun, trust me!), I got sick at the beginning of this past week. My body was telling me to slow down, to rest. It wasn’t a bad illness but enough where I didn’t have any energy, I had to take a break from daily exercise and choose to stay at home and not go out in the evenings. I’m so glad I rested because I feel so much better today. Enough that I could get up at 6:45 this morning and run a 9 and 1/2 minute mile, in the blazing summer heat!

(the sunrise that greeted me at the park this morning)

(alone at the track)

(I am totally sweaty in this picture and I don’t look at all restful, but this is the product of getting to rest this past week – enough energy for a good, but hard run!)

Okay, so maybe this isn’t recipe, and this is by no means a fool-proof, problem-free step for a healthier, happier life, but I do know that taking the time to rest helps me – body, soul and spirit. It helps me to put things in perspective, to enjoy what the Lord has given me, and to allow myself to be rejuvenated . . . so that I can be a better wife, friend and worker, and so that I can better serve others.

Are you taking the time to rest today?

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