Apparently I needed to take the past month off around here. This was by no means a planned break, other than our family vacation (from which we just returned) but I guess that’s how things go sometimes. Life goes a little crazy, schedules change and suddenly it’s been 4 weeks by the time you come up for air. That’s a little something I like to call unintended rest and boy did I need it.
That was my September.
There were a few times I tried to write. I wanted to reach out and connect with people. Yet, I couldn’t find the words. I couldn’t get my own thoughts together much less create coherent sentences for others to read. There were several times when I considered closing up shop and never looking back. But I know myself too well for any of that. What I needed was time. This has happened before and it will surely happen again. I’ve talked about my two speeds before (all-in and all-out) so while I didn’t really see this crash coming, I recognized it when it happened.
Read: Finding Rest
It’s like when we push too hard and our bodies shut down. We get a cold or the flu and are forced to stay in bed and rest it off. Thankfully, I didn’t get physically sick but emotional rest is just as essential. When I can’t shut my brain off sometimes, my body does it for me. It’s the blue screen of emotional stability. Rest. Reboot. Carry on.
This was a long one though. After our amazing trip to Bar Harbor in August for our 10th wedding anniversary, I thought I would return home refreshed and ready to roll.
That did not happen. Instead, I treaded water for the next few weeks until we went on a cruise for the kids’ fall break. That’s when I finally rested. Free of constant connection with the outside world my mind was at peace. So here I am finally ready to pick up where I left off.
I try to live an intentional life. I believe in building the lives we want to the best of our abilities. It’s why I plan our vacations. I know they won’t just happen. We have to be intentional. It’s why I make sure we eat dinner at the table together 80% of the time. It’s how I manage to work from home while caring for the kids (especially this week when they are still out of school).
All of this intentional living has served us well. But nothing is perfect. Not even my intentions. Because something will always fall to the wayside and no matter how well I plan, burnout happens. When it does, I end up with unintentional rest and I’m reminded that I desperately need it.
If you’re like me and you love to “Tetris” your life so everything stacks and fits together just so. It may be time to get intentional about rest. Being productive is a good thing. It feels great and it can be fun to figure things out. I get it. But it’s just as important to be still, to let your thoughts be still. I needed that reminder and while I know not everyone can sail off into the sunset, getting away from the constant barrage of information was essential to allowing myself to remember how much I need quiet times.
Fall is here and I’m using the season to breath deeply, remember the good things and let go of some of the pieces I’ve stacked up in my mind to create space for rest. Unintended rest is still rest and I’m going to hold on to that all season long. Maybe I’ll even figure out how to master intentional rest in the process.