Every now and then I hit a place in my walking where I need to take about a week off. Because I've never had problems starting up again, I allow myself this grace. It happens about once or twice a year. No biggie.
About a month ago, such a time had arrived. I just needed a break, so I took a week off. That weekend I got the dreaded flu, and the following two weeks, while there were no messy flu symptoms, I was so tired as to be useless. I did do a couple of walks, but not enough to brag about, and each one left me drained and exhausted.
A couple of years ago I got a call from the Heart and Stroke foundation. A lovely man was on the other end, and asked quite apologetically if I would be able to canvass for them that year (in February). The routes were very small, he assured me, and I'd have two whole weeks to get it done, and my own street was available if I'd like to do it.
He must have caught me at a weak moment, because I said yes.
"What?!" he exclaimed, in shock "You'll WILL?!" He must have been having a bad day, because you would have thought I'd just handed an eight-year-old boy his first puppy.
We laughed about that, and he told me the person in charge of my area would be in touch.
A few weeks later I got a phone call, set a date to get my packet and some brief training, and I was "in".
To call me a "driven" person is an understatement (friends might use the term "scary"...) There's something about my makeup that doesn't allow me to tackle a day without to-do list of at least 30 items. I kid you not. There are always 27 different projects to work on, and I take my relationship with my kids and husband very seriously, so time needs to be set aside for that, as well. This means I live each day highly focused, and heaven help you if you get in my way when we're not in "relationship" mode!
And there's something about today's society that makes this kind of lifestyle something to be deeply proud of. I mean whenever someone asks you how life is, "busy" and "stressed" seem to be appropriate, praise-worthy responses. Weird.
In my Monday's Post I shared about the trip my husband and I took to Montana and the incredible sense of rest that it afforded us. My own faith stresses highly the importance of Sabbath.
This is an idea that has been buzzing around in my head and my heart for a long time. I actually do start each morning very slowly with time for devotions, praise, walking, and the like before I hit the ground running, but the idea of a whole day of Sabbath every week? That's tough. Weekends are so short and so fully of "busy-ness" that it's hard to figure out how to make it happen.
I believe more and more, though that it's a vitally important part of true wellness, regardless of your spiritual beliefs - or lack of such. It takes some work to make it happen (that sounds like a contradiction in terms...) but the results are well worth it. Here are some links that you might find helpful (if you're not religious, these ideas can be used as a starting place and be adapted to suit your own needs):
My husband and I just got back from a week long stay at "The Montana Cabin" where we had a full week of rest, quiet, beautiful scenery, and no schedule or goals to accomplish, other than rest and reconnection.
The mornings were slow - we got up when we were awake, not when some alarm beeped, and had coffee together overlooking the lake. The views fed my soul with rest, relaxation, and deep peace.