Archive | October 2014

The Art of Rest

tired pandaI’ve been sitting at my computer for about 10 minutes now, working on the intro to this blog. I have a paragraph written, but I think I’m going to scrap it. All I really want to say is this: I’m tired.

That’s nothing new; in fact, that’s just the problem. I feel like I’m ALWAYS tired. Like I never get enough sleep. I’m tired of being tired. I was so tired when I got home today, in fact, that I felt like crying. Not because I was in a bad mood or had a bad day. Neither of those are true. I’m just that tired. And when I’m tired, I’m cranky. Fun for all.

Of course it’s an exaggeration that it’s ALWAYS this way, but it sure feels like it sometimes. The last time I remember having uninterrupted rest and getting up without an alarm was back in July during our trip to Alaska. And that’s probably because I was jet lagged.

I remember when I first started the job I’m at now. The hours changed, the commute tripled and I had a hard time adjusting. There were many days I could barely keep my eyes open at my desk.

rest It’s not that bad anymore—thank goodness—partly because my body finally adjusted and partly because I started exercising again, which gives me energy. Still, getting up in the morning is an issue. I set 3 alarms for myself and still find some days that I’m getting out of bed a good half hour after the last alarm. Not good. I hate rushing. And I’m tired of eating dry cereal on my way to work.

It’s not that I can’t sleep at night. Most nights, I could probably fall asleep within a few minutes. It’s other things. Like the dogs barking and waking me up in the middle of the night when our neighbor lets her dogs out. Like wanting to do a few things with my day besides just work and drive. Or the fact that I’d like to spend time with Pete before we go to bed and get up early again. I swear, the window of time between 6 and 10 p.m. has to be moving faster or something. By the time I get home, feed the dogs, change clothes, make dinner and pack lunches, it’s almost bedtime. I honestly don’t know where the time goes.

I don’t want to sound like I’m a zombie 24/7; I’m actually pretty peppy a lot of the time. But that time is usually when I’m at work—not when I’m trying to justify 5 more minutes of sleep in the morning or feeling the effects of a long day set in on my drive home. That means leftover energy for Pete, and I feel bad about that. The evening Bible reading I was so happy to start last month has also taken a hit.

I’ve been thinking how I can improve all this and I guess it all comes down to priorities. Choosing to rest instead of go, go, go all the time. Saying no to some of the weekend invites and volunteer requests. Putting off things that just don’t need to be done right now. I can’t do everything—not well anyway—and I need to accept that. (One of those “easier said than done” type things.) For me, going and doing is what I enjoy. If I were to discover an hour of free time right now, my first thought would be, “There are so many things I could do!”

I’m starting to think that rest is an art form, something to work at. It sure doesn’t come naturally to me, and I wish it did.

I’m teaching Sunday school in a few days, and I think the topic of discussion will be rest. So many weeks, I walk in the youth room to find half a dozen high schoolers with glazed looks on their faces, overwhelmed with homework, sports, band, exams and life. I plan to share this article on why we need rest. If God commanded it, it must be important.