The Need for Rest

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Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  ~Ovid

Ah Rest, when I was young how often I ignored your siren call!  I felt that there weren't enough hours in a day to achieve all that I'd set out to accomplish, especially when the girls were young.  Mothering, housekeeping, teaching, the days flew by with me in tunnel vision mode, focusing on one task at a time, one foot in front of the other, keeping focused on the items still left on my never-ending to-do list.

An endless loop, that continued for years.

I would fit you in when I could, but more often than not I resisted you, to the point of tears.  Feeling overwhelmed I would sit down and despair that I would never ever get everything done.  The tears would start to fall and my husband would ask what is wrong and I would answer, "I'm just so tired."

Rest.  In my mind you were a luxury I couldn't afford.

Who had time for you?  I certainly didn't.  I needed (no, wanted) to be there for my children and husband, their needs being most important in my mind.  I could take care of myself later.  Begin painting later.  Begin exercising later.  Begin that diet later. There was always time, later.

But then, cancer arrived and turned my world upside down.  Later suddenly wasn't a sure thing anymore.

I courted you then Rest, oh yes I did, but it was out of necessity.  I knew I needed to rest in order to heal.  During my months of treatment both the first time around and then, eighteen months later during a recurrence, I allowed myself to listen to you, often feeling as if I had entered into a cocoon of quiet.  Wisely, I didn't push you aside.

I welcomed you.  I began to listen to my body, even after the chemo treatments ended, and I began to feel strong again.  I not only welcomed you but I learned to value you.

And now?  Rest, you let me know when my mind has gotten so full of worries that I realize I need to write them down, put them to (yes) rest and go for a walk.  You remind me to nourish my Self not just with food but with quiet.  I breathe and with each exhalation tension melts away from my muscles, as if I am shedding a skin that no longer serves me.

When I'm rested my creativity blossoms and I find myself spending hours at my easel, doing what I love.

By allowing you into my life I have learned how to balance my days.  I am respectful of my need for moments of stillness, away from the hustle and bustle of the fast-forward world we live in.  I take time to consider my daily calendar and obligations and work at keeping space for You.

Dear Rest, you are a blessing.

Participating in Nurturing Thursday with Becca and April Love with Susannah.