Some of us just don’t like sitting down.
That would be me.
I’ve always got the next thing to do written on a slip of paper somewhere and even if I can’t find that list, it’s hardwired into my brain.
Decades of guiding a busy household have worn ruts in my routine so that after my morning coffee I am compelled to get up and get going.
Writing here has given me a little cushion since some mornings words pour out of me and I have to get them down before they escape my memory. But even so, I might only extend my sitting time by an hour or so.
When the sun gets up good in the sky, that’s my cue to get up too. Animals need feeding and even though there’s only me to feed at home I’m usually cooking for some event or someone else.
So I find it hard to rest-even when I need to and even when it is the difference between getting well and getting worse.
But this past week I’ve had to dial it back-a lot. Some nasty cold took up residence in my chest and traveled to my ears. It was the earache that sent me to the doctor even though the cough sounded like it was coming from my toes and just wouldn’t stop.
Thankfully a wise practitioner gave me the right mix of medicines and sent me home to let them work their magic.
I expected the antibiotics and steroid to kick in and kick that rotten bug right out. But they didn’t. In fact, although the earache dissipated by the next morning, I woke up feeling WORSE than when I had dragged myself to the clinic.
The prescription was clear: Rest was what I needed.
My family very sweetly kept reminding me of that when I forgot (at least once per hour!). But I stubbornly refused to rest as much or as often as I should have.
So it has taken longer than necessary for me to feel better.
And once again I am learning the absolute necessity of REST to aid a body-or a heart-toward healing. There is simply NO substitute for giving your body or emotions or spirit the space and time and leisure it needs to do the work that only it can do for itself.
When our schedules are piled high (even with good things!) and we don’t make a place for rest in our daily and weekly lives, we predispose (maybe guarantee?) ourselves toward crisis. It might be a health crisis due to a weakened immune system or an emotional crisis because we just don’t have the energy or margin left to deal with people’s words or attitudes.
For those of us already carrying the burden of child loss into this extra busy season, we have to find time to rest.
We have to make space for solitude.
We must declare some portion of our day or week a “drama free” zone.
If we don’t, we’ll find ourselves exactly where we don’t want to be.
Our bodies, minds and hearts will demand it-one way or the other.