It’s been a little crazy over here lately. You can read about a little bit of the excitement, but let me just say we are so pumped about the future and the direction our family is heading. To get there, though, it means a lot of work and dedication. Our to-do lists are longer than our planners can keep up with, and we’re working nearly double then we were just a few months ago.
I can’t be the only one who falls into this work-a-holic kind of trap. It’s easy to get caught up in all the things to do and not take time for ourselves, am I right? Being intentional about rest is something I’ve learned before and continue to re-learn over and over again.
Isn’t it funny how ‘learning to rest’, or ‘self-care’ seems to be a conversation we all have but never follow through on?
Our culture has very little room for rest. The millennial generation, especially, is typically goal-oriented, and tend to overwork between all our main jobs, our side hustles, and then pursuing our goals and dreams in our free time. Unplugging from our jobs, work or plans is hard, especially when there’s just so much to get done.
This past Saturday, I made the decision to set down work for the day and just enjoy time with my family. This included Instagram and checking emails. Honestly, it felt strange at first. I found myself just sitting, not really doing anything for minutes at a time. Usually in those circumstances, I would usually be on my phone, attempting to get ‘one more thing’ done. Keeping my phone away from me for most of the day meant I had to fill that time with something else. It felt weird not having something to do in every dull moment, to actually have time to think.
But having that extra space to just be in the moment instead of rushing to the next thing felt like freedom. And, unexpectedly, it encouraged thankfulness. I had time to really take in the things surrounding me and feel genuine gratitude. Sometimes, it feels like there’s this pre-made list in my mind for the things I am grateful for – my husband, my baby, my home. But without distraction nearby I was in the thick of my own, real life. I had the margin to appreciate people and things for how they were in this very moment, not just because I subconsciously knew I was grateful.
We spent the morning lounging in our pajamas. Joy and I lingered on the couch, snuggling and chatting as the sun rose. We kept the agenda flexible. Earlier that week, I had planned Saturday as a day to create content for future blog posts and get some work done. Instead, we left everything at home and just spent time together. We went the mall and played on playgrounds, we ate at our favorite pizza joint, and we stayed up later than usual. The main priority that day for me was to enjoy life just as it is.
Don’t hear me wrong – I’m not saying that work and social media is awful and we should all quit our jobs to pursue a completely care-free existence. However, I am saying you should be intentional about creating margin in your life to pursue the things that fill you up.
Taking time for just yourself and your family isn’t selfish – we all need those ‘days of rest’ to restore our souls and prepare our minds for the work ahead. The same way a fisherman eventually needs to return to shore to unload his catch and care for his boat, we need to unload our workload and care for our minds.
This process of unloading and caring for ourselves looks different for everybody – what rejuvenates my own mind and body may be very different then how you rejuvenate yours. For Jeff, resting means staying at home, while for me it means getting out or exploring creative interests. Sometimes, it takes some soul searching and personality tests to really learn how to take care of your unique self.
While you were reading this, I’m sure you had some things pop in your head, things you already know help you relax, or that you often look forward to doing. Start with those. Can we plan time this weekend to set down distraction and focus on a truly restful Saturday?