The Importance of Rest

I have a theory. It’s not that unique or originally, but I think it’s important. And I think it’s applicable to a variety of people at all different stages of life.

I think we all just need to take a nap.

But even typing out those words I feel guilty. As someone who has lived in the Midwest my entire life I feel a deep need to be productive. And by productive I mean busy. Because idle hands are the devils playground and we wouldn’t want that. There is an assumption that I work hard to combat. That taking a rest or not constantly working on something means I am being lazy. But I’m crying foul.

I have noticed that the more I focus on all that needs to be done, the more overwhelmed it becomes to me. I run around trying to take care of all the stuff and I become more and more like a hamster stuck on a wheel. Just going around and around. Always working on things but never getting them done. I try to pay attention to everything and yet focus on nothing.

But then if I take a step back and just decompress, it helps bring life back into perspective. Sometimes taking a day off from the frenetic pace of life is a necessity. It gives me some time to calm down and focus on what needs to be done. This could mean taking an afternoon and watching my favorite shows or reading a book. Sometimes it means taking a literal day and going to a coffee house and relaxing. It takes a little bit of forethought and planning, but I promise it is worth it.

How do you step back from life and get perspective?

Blessings
-K

Advertisements

Beginning or End

NaBloPoMo Prompt: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Morning doves or night owls? That is the question today.

I have lived at the far ends of both spectrums. There were the high school years when we would drive around and make mischief on the weekends. Nothing to crazy, just clean fun. Then in college the all night study sessions on music theory and world history. But those late nights never felt natural to me. There was always a feeling of just trying to fit in with the majority. To share in the commiseration of the late nights after effects of blood shot eyes and scratchy throats. The only way I got thru them was a steady stream of caffeine and staying uprightly mobile. That’s also, pretty, much how I got thru the next day.

Then out of college, I was married right away. I settled into the routine of domesticity and work. Also, the endless energy of the young adult was starting to wane. The corporate eight to five was draining away any vestige of youth.

Even as I let go of that fun and care free college girl and put on the cloak of responsibility that comes with entering the world of adults, I didn’t take the transition to hard. I liked the early rising the classic 9-5 job demands.

I am a morning person. My circadian rhythms have me most alert from about 6am to 4PM. Sure, sleepless night and the occasional long weekend of fun can turn me into a night owl, but I am most productive in the earlier parts of the day. Like the sun shines, I am brightest at the dawn.

How about you? Are you a morning dove or a night owl?

Blessings
-K

Rediscovering

Random Note: my husband saw the leaves changing today on his way home from work. In August. Autumn is coming, my friends.

Ten years ago I was four months shy of reaching my one year marriage anniversary. I had heard about a new publication called Real Simple. It’s a great little magazine filled with tips and tricks on all sorts of thugs. I have a complete set of three years of magazines because they are so useful as resources. They also had interesting articles and I liked that the ads weren’t all for perfume and make up. There was some of that, but most of it was for the home or about food.

Also at the beginning of marriage I tried out yoga for the first time. I had a DVD someone suggested and I tried it out. I hated it. Despite training in various types of dance for over ten years, I have never been that flexible and it frustrated me that I couldn’t touch my head to the floor or even my fingers to my toes.

I’m sure if I had persisted I could have made that flexibility goal eventually, but that was not my only repulsion when it came to yoga. I also didn’t like the quiet and reflective nature of the exercise. As someone who has a lot of emotions and thoughts to process, I preferred activities that were faster and required more focus. Sitting on a mat with my thoughts was not my idea of a good work out.

But today something shifted. I have been doing some more strenuous exercise routines and my over-30 body was protesting this morning as I rolled out of bed. As I limped down the stairs, I thought ‘You should do yoga today.’ Then I told myself to shut it. Ain’t nobody got time for yoga. But then I did a google search for a quick yoga routine. And I found this little gemof a workout. It only took me fifteen minutes and I feel looser and more refreshed. The meditation part even wasn’t so bad.

If you’re looking for something to give you some relaxation but still need to workout, this is a great way to do so.

Blessings
-K

Solitude

Fun Fact: Starfish don’t have brains. Explains a lot.

Let me start by saying I’m a people person, so I don’t mind being around people. I love the feeling of gathering with friends and discussing life and laughing together. If there is a party happening, I want to be there. Heck, I usually am the one throwing the party so I can be with everyone.

But sometimes, I need to be alone. Sometimes, I need rest. Most of the time I don’t realize I need rest until I am already depleted. More often someone else, like my husband or a close friend, will tell me I look exhausted and I should get some rest. Or I will break down into a puddle of tears because I just can’t handle it anymore. Or I will lash out in anger at all these people needing things from me. These people primarily being my husband and kids. Much like the toddler who has been forced to stay up longer than she should, I can have an epic tantrum/meltdown when I get overextended.

I need to recognize what the signs are for me. And how to prevent the overtired meltdowns from happening. Because it’s not fair to my husband and kids or my close friends that I am real with to be the bearers of my tiredness rage.

What are the signs? Irritability. Checking out. An extreme reaction to a minor problem. Making drastic changes to my schedule all at once. I eat a lot when I am tired. Making poor entertainment choices. I tend to make all kinds of judgements and just over all bad choices in life when I’m tired. I’m just being real here folks.

How can I prevent this.

1. For me, I need to have at least one day a week that I don’t leave the house or do anything. Yes, I will still pay attention to everyone and meet the needs of my kids and husband. That means my house is not spotless seven days a week. I figure a sane mind is better than a spotless sink. It also means we are probably having nachos or cereal for dinner.

2. I have a regular ‘date’ with a group of friends that we can discuss and process things with. I have some prayer warriors in my life that really mean it when they say “How are ya?” These ladies are a gift. I want to be that for others as well.

3. I go to bed at a reasonable time. I know that if I don’t get my sleep it tends to effect everyone else.

4. Eat some chocolate.

It’s about balance. About finding the right amount of time to pour into others and allowing others to pour into me. There is always work to be done. And commitments to be met. But I really think we need to take a cue from the Bible and have a day of rest. A day to sit back and reflect on all that God has done or is doing.

Blessings

-K

A few tips, tricks and observations on running

Random Tidbit: I tie tennis shoes two different ways. One way for each foot. Trendsetter, right here.

I have been running for about 3 years now. There have been hiatuses, but like anyone else that likes their wardrobe the way it is and is to undisciplined to watch what I eat, I return to running again and again. Why?

Observations

1. Because it’s cheap, for the most part. I don’t need a membership or a lot of special gear.

2. The fact that I like to eat means I need to run.

3. The endorphin rush is pretty nice at the end of a run.

4. Almost every charity you can think of has a run of some kind that you can be a part of. There is no cause not worth running for. There are even apps that let you earn money for your favorite charity while you run.

5. A lot of good ideas come to you when you are running. Again, that endorphin rush…

Tips:

1. Get good shoes. You are going to be pounding your feet on a variety of surfaces. Whether you prefer minimalist shoes or a lot of support, get the best ones you can afford for your budget. There is a plethora of shoes to choose from. If you can, take someone with you that can guide you thru shoes that isn’t a sales person.

2. Get good ear buds. It’s Christmas-time folks. Don’t be afraid to go to Amazon and send a link to all your friends about the style and color of headphones you want. You don’t want the inside of your ears to get rubbed raw by crappy head phones.

3. The one time running can get expensive is if you live in a colder climate. As fall and winter come around, you want to invest in some gloves and a head band. Maybe a face mask too. Just don’t wear the full set of gear into a store or bank. The face mask especially can be taken the wrong way by edgy bank tellers.

4. Run when it’s dark so you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing you. This was really great for me since I was self-conscious about my running.

5. This kind of contradicts number four but,  run with a friend. It’s the only way I can stay consistent at it. I lack self-discipline. I need accountability.

Tricks

1. There aren’t any tricks. Unless you count crossing a start line with your electronic tag, getting into a cab and then jumping out right at the end of the race to cross the finish line. But that’s a mean trick called cheating.

Running is all about you and the pavement.  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are.