You guys, I’ve been reading Present over Perfect and I don’t think I’ve ever related to book more in my life. These last 2 months of deployment have been harder than I could have ever imagined. Not because of the job or because I’m forever away from friends and family, but because I’ve had time to rest and to face what I’ve been avoiding for the last two years of my life.
I’ve always been a productive person. When I sit down to rest, whether it’s to write a blog, watch TV, or read a book, I feel extremely guilty. Guilty to the point I don’t usually pick up the book or write the blog, I get back to my to-do list until I’m too tired to continue. I always brag that I can fall asleep in less than 10 seconds, but honestly it’s because my body is too exhausted to be awake for another second.
This is what our culture condones. Do more. Hustle more. Have more. As I’m typing this blog I received an email with the title, “Train more. Sell more. Be more.”
Since moving to D.C., I’ve prided myself on being able to do it all. I’ve worked 3-4 jobs at any given time. I’ve never said no. No one made me say yes, it’s just my nature, and because it’s my nature, I thought it was ok.
I thought it was ok until I was forced to slow down and face the music. There is only so much work to be done here. I can’t pick up a second or third job. When I sat alone in my room after work for the first week, I had a lot of time to reflect on my life the last couple of years. As I reflected, I barely recognized the person I had become. It seems silly typing this, how could I go two years and not realize that I was becoming a drastically different person? That’s how busy I was.
There were clues for sure. For example, my faith struggled. My solution? More church, more reading, more Bible studies. Don’t get me wrong, these things are great, however for me, I either a) didn’t go because I didn’t have time or b) went and didn’t absorb anything because I was thinking about the next thing on my to-do list.
My friendships have also been significantly more shallow the past couple years. I haven’t had the energy to really connect with people. Meeting new people, which used to be something I thoroughly enjoyed, has become a chore. Meeting new people didn’t appeal to me because I barely had time for the people currently in my life, why would I want to add more?
I find it ironic that I’m so into nutrition and taking care of my body, but I’ve neglected to take care of my soul. I love when Pastor Judah Smith asks, “How’s your soul?” It’s a question we should be asking each other, because the state of our soul defines everything else in our life.
It gives me anxiety to think about slowing down, I’m more comfortable shoving 28 hours of work into 24 hours, not feeling or thinking, just doing. Reading this book has given me hope that it’s possible to change and not feel that anxiety. So here’s to a new season… a season of slowing down, re-connecting and learning what it really means to rest.
What about you? Do you take time to really rest?