Tag Archives: day of rest

LSS: Taking a day of rest

Nearly six years ago my family listened to a clear wake-up call that was impossible to miss.
In short, my husband fell and a minor injury to his knee almost ended up killing him. (Unbeknownst to us, a blood clot formed in his leg due to the minor fracture and subsequent rest. Then the clot broke loose and lodged itself straddling his lungs.) Few people survive such circumstances, but seven days in intensive care and twenty-nine days in the hospital later, he did. At that point, the decision to live our lives in a different way came easy.
Since then, we have.
However, this week has been a reminder for me that the hustle and bustle we swore off back then is and has been creeping its way back into our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not proposing hermithood for the family. But I know that running from one event and obligation to the next takes a toll on us on many levels—we stop truly enjoying what we’re doing (possibly even resenting some of it), and we become plain tired (due to not eating right and going too much).
Despite the messages much of society offers, there is no valor in life lived that way. In fact, choosing to live life in a different way requires a lot of steadfastness. Some of which I’ve lost over the last few years.
This week has been an opportunity to re-evaluate.
Daughter no. 2 has spent this week with my parents. Daughter no. 1 has spent the week at a camp in Asheville, N.C., where my husband also had work for the week. I tagged alone and have spent the majority of the glorious week alone in a clean hotel room by day and out at dinner with my husband by night.
My reasons to stay in the hotel room were two-fold. First, I had work to do that kept me close to a computer. Secondly, the results of going, seeing and doing too much caught up with me last weekend and left me sick as a dog and rather weak. Having time to reflect and take care of myself has been a gift and a reminder of the importance of taking the time every now and then to be still and reel life back in to the place that works best.
As far as I can tell, every major religion except Hinduism sets aside a day of rest—and these traditions go back thousands of years. We’re supposed to rest. We face consequences if we don’t. And yet, what do we use our supposed day of rest for? Well, that’s the day to catch up on chores that the rest of life doesn’t leave time for.
Something’s wrong with that equation.
Resting happens rarely among most of the people I know. And admitting to resting happens even less. In a society that seems to thrive on hustle and bustle, many of us associate resting with shame. Got to stay busy. Got to be working. We scowl and sneer at someone “sitting around and doing nothing.”
The penalties vary, but the costs for lack of rest are real and take a toll in ways difficult to recognize without a little time and perspective. Some of may get sick. Some of us may get irritable. Some of may simply lose sight of what’s important in the limited time we have to share with family and friends.
The best way for time and perspective?
A little rest.
Take today. It’s officially a day of rest. On your own or with your family, see how much time you can sit around and do nothing. No clothes washing. No dish washing. No lawn mowing. No weed picking. No floor mopping. Just sit and talk. Or sit and read. Or look at old photo albums. Or take a nap.
Watch what happens.