Learn to Rest

32 of 45 Moments of Wonder

Yesterday I had full intention to write. And then my dog jumped over the fence and got stuck behind my neighbour’s shed. So at 5:00 I was taking out fence boards and trying to free him. And then my leg began to hurt…a lot. So yesterday I did something I don’t do often. I rested. I decided the best thing I could do yesterday was to sit with my foot up and give my body some time to heal itself.

Learning to rest has been hard for me. As someone who always needs to be doing, resting feels uncomfortable. It isn’t that I don’t know the value of rest. I do. But when I take the time for rest, for play, for a vacation, I feel such guilt for not doing something that feels more productive. This is something I want to face, head-on.

I wonder if there is another way to look at rest. What if rest is setting up our future selves for greater success? What if resting today means my future self feels less stress and more energized? What if not resting is denying her a better, easier, more productive day?

I know that not resting as much as I should have following my surgery means that I am now having to deal with swelling and pain I probably wouldn’t have to had I rested. I know that when I deny myself sleep, future me takes on the effects of that, including some disturbing psychological ones. I know that not giving myself the time to play means that future self burns out much more quickly.

So if you (and I) can’t find the motivation to rest for ourselves, let’s try doing it for our future selves.

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