The Difference a Rest Makes



I updated our light up cinema box last night:

Last Friday I was well and truly frazzled. Too many things to do, not enough time to do them and without an end in sight. I was putting Orla to bed and at the same time planning the work I needed to do in my head that I would need to do once she was asleep, except she did not go to sleep.  

My rambunctious toddler took an hour and a half to drop off. By which time I knew that my mind had lost the capacity to do the jobs I had planned. I got out my phone and sent out a very quick email saying that I hadn’t forgotten the task, but my evening had been taken up so that I would do the job tomorrow. 

Then, I ran a bath, poured a glass of wine and settled in with a book. Then I watched my favourite crime TV series in my fluffiest dressing gown before going to bed, in a much more relaxed state of mind than I had been earlier in the evening. 

The next morning, Rob took Orla to her dance group and with fresh eyes I opened the laptop and got on with the job. It took forty minutes and I sent it off without further problem. By the time Rob and Orla came home I was ready to enjoy the rest of the Saturday with my family. 

What had been overwhelming and draining the night before was simple and straightforward the next morning. That is the difference a good rest makes.  

Here is the reminder I need to tell myself more often; Don’t neglect your rest. Don’t begrudge your rest. And Don’t think that the world will fall apart if you stop and rest. You will work quicker and smarter when you are rested; you are more productive when you are rested so your rest is an investment in your work, not a subtraction from your work. 

This last week I have been more conscious of pacing myself and chilling out about my limitations. I’ve not been neglecting my rest and I have been easing up on myself for not being productive every hour of the day. The result has been that I have been feeling a lot more content and grateful for lots of little and big things in my life, and I have felt more productive than I did before. Now when I am looking after Orla I devote myself just to that without also planning work in my head, that alone makes my day much sweeter. 

Looking after a toddler, working part time and being on Leadership at church is hard work but it’s also good work with lots of great moments. Painting with my girl, sharing a cake at work, or seeing our church take a new step forward, there are lots of big things and little things to be grateful for when I am going slow enough to really see them. 

In reality last week was very similar to the week before, I did the same activities, had the same responsibilities but remembering to rest has caused me to say more than once this last week, “It’s been a good day!”  

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