On Unexpected Rest

For the last 2 days I have been in bed. This long slumber was totally unexpected, but probably very necessary. Usually my days, as most people’s, feel like a never ending to-do list. Even if I do force myself to try and chill for a bit, my mind will keep racing with lists and thoughts of things to get done.  So, these past 2 days of forced rest to heal from whatever has taken over my body have been rather nice.  It allowed me to reflect on some things, to which I then felt more peace. I watched Pride & Prejudice, read several encouraging articles, finished a book, and started 2 more.The best part was that I started feeling like I wanted to do laundry again, I wanted to cook, and clean. Well, maybe not the cleaning part. I wasn’t feeling that well rested, but this forced rest did revive me (at least mentally, not fully physically). I started remembering my goals and and felt encouraged to find our rhythm again.  All from a little rest. A couple of days of minimal.

It mostly reminded me….and I have no idea how I forgot….that my family and I thrive when we have margin (open, unplanned time) in our day. Somehow with the beginning of school we lost that margin. I want it to be a regular habit, part of our natural daily rhythm. Some white space in our day for rest, however it is we define rest.

We’ve never been a fan of being too busy, and thankfully we’ve been fairly good at keeping things that way. I guard our family calendar fiercely. Rest was a whole other matter. So, the first thing I need to do is reprocess my thoughts…rest and margin in my day brings me joy and fills my house with calm. Busy days make me a bit cranky. Simple realization there. As we go through our days, I will remind myself of those things because FOMO (fear of missing out) will sometimes creep in. I know that I will wonder if it is really ok not to do such and such, or if I’m a good mom if I don’t have my kids in x,y, and z. Shouldn’t I be busy? I know the answers…yes, yes, and no! I need to push out the lies and fill myself with the truth (our truth-rest is essential). At the same time, I hope to start filling my table with hot dinners (where we eat together), and I will start un-filling my random sock basket, as I find more time to catch up on things that I never had time for before.

I have found encouragement for my pursuit of rest by devouring various books and articles on the anti-busy movement. I’ve started with It’s Your Kid, Not a Gerbil, and The Best Yes. As I flip the pages I feel relieved and hopeful. It’s as if the authors are cheering me on. And heck, who doesn’t like knowing that they aren’t alone in their thoughts? I’m eager to read a new book that has joined my pile, Simply Tuesday.

In a season of school, activities, and work travel happening….it may be hard to slow down a bit, but I’m going to do my best to try. If a couple of days of rest could make me want to do laundry and go through my unmatched sock basket, I can only imagine what 365 days with rest included in our day could inspire.

-Mary

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