Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rest & Rejuvenation

What is it about the human condition that soaks up rest like a dry plant drinks water? We all need to change our pace once in awhile in order to find our centers again. It's easier for some personality types to relax than for others. For me, I have to give myself permission to unwind and enjoy myself, and I'm learning how important it is to do this on a regular basis, so that I'm not accomplishing things but grouchy and exhausted all of the time.

I'm almost halfway through my novel challenge, and I'm seriously behind. When I was posting decent word counts to the website and the work was flowing well at the beginning of the month, I felt fantastic, like I was accomplishing my goal. Then some of my regular life intervened and I began to fall behind. I had a feeling this was going to happen, and I'm happy to say that I feel more relaxed about it than I thought I would.

It's been challenging to juggle everything and try to find the right balance. When I get it right, it feels deeply satisfying, and when I don't, I become anxious and stressed. I'm constantly looking for peace and joy in each situation I'm in. I'm tired of worrying about all that I can't control. I can't do everything well. I can do some things well, but on a daily basis I must choose what to focus on, and what to let go of. I'd like to think that this balance gets easier, but it doesn't seem to.

All I can do is adjust my priorities on a day by day basis. This weekend away in Canmore has highlighted again the need for leisure in my life. It's not wasting time to make my mental and physical health a priority. I can enjoy everything more if I relax sometimes and recharge my batteries. Some personality types understand this better than my Type A does, but I can learn from others.

Today is the second rehearsal for the Christmas play with the kids at our church. I am working hard at being relaxed and keeping my expectations low for how it will unfold. For too long I've expended a lot of energy trying to see around every corner and plan for every contingency, and I'm learning that it's simply not possible to know what is coming all of the time. I'm trying to keep peace and joy at the centre of my priority list. As much as possible, I'm striving for these two things in each situation that I'm in.

Unless I am intentional about it, the negative tends to take over, and the positive becomes trodden underfoot. Peace and joy add so much more to my outlook and my experience than complaining and whining. There is always a positive side if we will look for it and be part of the solution instead of the problem.

Resting offers the chance to see things differently. The stress goes down, and the contentment goes up. I think that's why I stopped worrying about my novel challenge word count on this long weekend away. I looked at the mountains, played with my kids, and had fun for hours in the pool and hot tub with my family and friends.

I paid attention to what was going on inside of me, and that took precedence over an external goal I set for myself. I'm almost 10,000 words further into my novel than I was at the beginning of November, and I'll focus on that instead of how far I am from the goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month. I can do only what I can do in any given time frame, and I must learn to live within my constraints, and celebrate what I am doing.

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