Last week was a busy one, for a number of reasons I won’t bore you with. Suffice it to say that it was one of those weeks when I had trouble remembering all the the things I was supposed to be doing, let alone actually getting them done. I like to think I handled it well, but I suspect if you asked those who had to deal with me, they would tell you I was just a little bit cranky from time to time. (Or very cranky all week long, depending on their level of honesty verses tact.) But still, I finished off the week with most of the items checked off of my to-do list. Which means that today I finally have a few free hours to spend any way my little heart desires.
And do you know what I’m actually doing today? Nothing much. Nothing much at all.
Not so long ago, I would have felt really guilty about wasting so much time when I could be doing something “worthwhile.” I don’t know about you, but I always have a few big projects hanging over my head that need my attention. Right now I have an old dresser that needs to be sanded and stained (there was a reason the antique store was selling it so cheaply and displaying it in such a dark corner), and there’s several bins in the basement filled with stuff I’m quite sure I don’t need any more. Also, I promised my mother I’d wash her windows several weeks ago. But I didn’t do any of things.
Instead, I mostly just puttered around my house, doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I didn’t actually just sit on the couch and stare into space for several hours, but only because I don’t find just sitting and staring into space particularly relaxing. What I do find relaxing is doing small chores that catch my attention, in my own way and in my own time. I only sat down to write this post because I actually felt like writing it, and not because it’s Sunday and I almost always write a post on Sunday afternoon.
It may not seem as if I did anything particularly important today, but the fact of the matter is that I did accomplish one very important thing. I rested. I rested my mind by only doing tasks that required little or no thought, and I rested my body by slowing down and taking it easy for a change. And you know what? For the first time in several days I don’t feel tired, stressed and cranky. Instead, I feel pretty darned good.
Life is far too busy for most of us, and we usually have little choice but to forge ahead with our hectic schedules. But I believe that every once in a while, it’s important to “step off that treadmill” and allow ourselves a little breathing time. We need to pay attention when our body tells us it needs a break, or when our thoughts become so jumbled that we can’t seem to think straight. And those are the times when we need to find a way to slow down, tune out as much of the outside world as possible, and allow ourselves to simply be. Because those are the times when resting is actually the most important thing we could possibly be doing.