You would have heard me rehearsing this mantra from the very beginning of this year and here we are at the final quarter. I would have brought it up in my “This is for the Workaholics” podcast (go ahead check it out). Have I been learning to do this well? I sure hope so, the fact that I am up and running is perhaps evidence that I have been. Or perhaps that I am naively optimistic.
The third quarter of the year stood in complete opposition of the impression that any erudition about rest had taken place. The last two weeks of July symbolized a sudden dip south for my respiratory health. I think your body will only take so much before declaring that’s enough. Between toting the baby around, staying up at nights to meet deadlines, back to back travel, conferences, presentation preparations and domestic responsibilities my body didn’t stand a chance anyway especially with the way the female body is made up. Ladies, when our special friend who only visits once a month comes around, she will waste no time in taking advantage of the vulnerability of your physical frame.
So here I was shaken with the plugged sinuses, the dizziness, the fever and the throat on fire, waiting for people to stop telling me I looked unwell so I could carry on my daily living without guilt. I’m like the Grim Reaper, I love to harvest everything out of everything I’m doing and I try not to let a little “bad feels” get in the way of that. The trouble with above and beyond reachers is that they do not know how to set limits and boundaries. They are the ones who say to themselves “if I could only…” do a little more, stay up another hour, write a few more words, concentrate a little longer, just do one more. And with each success, the process repeats itself.
They are the ones who are pretty good at saying it’s fine while they’re 30% functional because they have enough in them to get through the occasion but have you ever gone to bed without charging your cell phone and then halfway through the day you’re wincing trying to read the contents including the red tinged 10% on the blackened screen? That tends to be my general response.
Life goes on and I don’t want it to go on without me.
So there I go again, attempting to fill every second and minute with something purposeful enough to keep me believing that I’m not wasting each ticking second.
What I don’t realise too often is if I’m not prepared to go on with it, life will indeed leave me behind. And for that reason I’m taking purposeful effort to cling to low key living until I’m fully functional again. I’m practicing shutting down my phone and letting it charge entirely before I disconnect it to go about my day. My phone battery will thank me later. And guess what? So will my body’s.
I’ve noticed even in athletic fora, the body which was made to accomplish terrific things can begin failing. An injury can mean the end of one’s career. It can cost somebody a competition. It can ruin one’s chances of winning a match. It can result in amputations. It can literally cost you your life. This is part of why great athletes earn so much in the sports they play because the cost is high.
Still, some of us are out here playing extreme sports with our bodies and getting little to no income for it. It feels awesome to get tasks done, but I consciously, deliberately, consistently have to decide which priorities are greatest and rest has to be one of them. Recently, I took my son to the sea and my husband and sister began teaching me how to float in the ocean. I quickly realised that my failure to do so successfully all these years came from my inability to relax. The moment I learned to let it all go I started doing it well.
Sometimes, dear workaholics and overachievers, you have to just
It’s hard I know but a body without rest will not yield results. There is only one life you have to live on this present Earth and you cannot spend everyday of it panicking about how well the next thing will come off. We will then find ourselves surveying the years with regret concerning small opportunities we missed to love, laugh, dance and actually live.
Go ahead, make room for rest, sleep, tv, riding, sport, the sea, movies, hairdresser, spa, retail therapy, counselling, food, whatever it takes to unwind everything so you can charge your batteries right up to 100%. Your body will thank you for it. Make that last quarter count with the hustle, but also balance it off with recharging when due!