Saturday, February 14, 2009


It's Valentine's Day - even better it's Saturday which meant I got to sleep in this morning. That is something I am very grateful for because it's been a long and emotional week with a lot of activity, surprise events and difficult decisions...and that was just at work.

A friend of mine made the very generous offer to watch the kids today so Dan and I could go on a date and after a long leisurely dinner and coffee at Starbucks afterward, I feel reconnected and I'm grateful for that.

We were talking about all the activities we've faced the past month and all of those listed on the calendar for the next month and thought how often we would be back and forth in the car and were so glad gas is down to $2 a gallon and I'm grateful for that.

We decided to back out of a couple of the commitments that would have had us out in the evening for 14 consecutive nights and I'm grateful for that. It was a sanity break after a crazy week, as well as, a wise decision to prevent another crazy week.

I was talking with a friend today about some people we both knew who were so overextended and burned out that they were literally at their wits end - desperate for a vacation. And we were wondering what we could do or say to encourage one of them in particular to take some time off and rest. But then we wondered how much good it would do long-term, because however relaxing the break was, they were sure to return to their exact same lifestyle immediately afterward.

Why is it when we're driving so fast we have to slam on the breaks we are so quick to press the reset button on the cruise control?

I'm beginning to formulate a theory on this. It's probably not an original theory (see posting on original thought below), but it's probably true. Sustained periods of rest can so radically change your lifestyle that you get a little antsy with the extra time. You begin to wonder what to do with it. Because you can't just do nothing.

The friend I was talking to said people ask her every weekend what she has planned - what she's going to do and she almost always replies "nothing". That's the point of the weekend. She says this baffles them. I think that's because our culture equates rest with idleness and wears busyness like a badge of honor. Somehow our activities validate our value and our efforts beg accolades.

Rest provides lots of opportunity for reflection and even introspection. It allows time to notice things you normally miss and meet people you normally pass. I think at the surface we prefer the fast lane. We're too busy to stop. We believe everything would come crashing down around us.

The funny thing is we don't think driving 80 in the fast lane is risky. No potential to crash there.

At a time when so many people and places are moving so quickly, tonight I was really grateful to sit across a table from my husband for four hours and talk and laugh and cancel plans.

No comments: