Sometimes the most productive thing we can do is rest. 

I cringe just writing those words. 

Everything with in my being is saying, NO! Delete that shit and get to work. 

Why? Because today I am exhausted but I also have a lot of things that I want to do.

Regardless, I will not delete those words because, I know that they are true.

My mind still argues: "But there is an art show to prep for, the gardens need to be planted, there is a break in the rain so you should go for a walk or a bike ride, you need to start packing for your new adventure..." 

My mind will just keep going and going so I'll stop boring you with its ramblings here.

If you are anything like me, rest is hard. 

If you do not suffer with the inability easily rest, I admire, and also kind of envy you.

For me, my struggle with resting is multifaceted but stems from such things as my innate desire to always want to create, learn, and discover what's possible. It is also no doubt tied to some deep seeded non-truth that my worth is tied solely to my level productivity. 

And yet, I know that if I actually take the time to rest when my body asks me to (given that I am able), I will not only be much more productive afterwards but also actually enjoy what I am doing far more than when I am tired. This isn't rocket science Jess (yeah, I'm talking to myself). 

So today, begrudgingly, I am going to nap. Because one, I am exhausted and two, my therapist told me to hang up the phone with her and go sleep. Did I mention that I love my therapist?

You see, prior to my diagnosis of cancer back in 2019 I was in burnout mode, HARD. Always doing, doing, doing. 'Sleep is for the weak and OD'ing on caffeine is for the strong' was my internal motto. What I did not realize at the time but later became blatantly obvious, was that all of my doing was just a coping mechanism to escape my feelings. Who has time to deal with trauma when you have a 10,000 long item to-do list? That list by the way (aside from the normal everyday life items like paying bills) was entirely created by me and only me. 

A diagnosis of cancer kicked me square in the face with the reality of what I was doing. ​

Now, I have a therapist. Two in fact. One that helps me move through life after cancer (because yes, I am now cancer free!), and one who helps me work through the other traumatic events that I was trying to avoid dealing with pre-diagnosis by overdoing. Looking back, we laugh at the items on those lists and the chaos I that was creating for myself. 

Part of my healing has been to find balance. Part of that balance is resting. It has been a process, but I am learning to embrace it (most days). 

In doing so, I have gained some insight.  

One day spent napping, staring at the clouds and listening to the waves lap against the shore (or nature sounds/meditative music in my ear buds) usually always equals 6 days of mood improvement and much higher levels of productivity. 

When I ignore all that and just push through, I usually waste half of my day in 'air head' mode, make silly mistakes and inevitably after x amount of time, wind up face planting and sleeping for days on end anyway. So yeah, balance Jess, balance. Not rocket science.  

This also got me thinking... could resting not also be a 'task' so to speak? Furthermore, could it be true that resting actually is being productive?

After an hour long delve into researching the meaning of productivity, Google yielded me this (a brief summary of my findings): to be a productive person, you need to be capable of effectively and efficiently achieving, producing or creating a sizeable amount of something in a given amount of time while finding enjoyment in the process.

Not all definitions I read referenced the "finding enjoyment part" but I think it is important to include as I know from my own experience that I get things done way more efficiently and effectively if I find joy in what I am doing. 

And while my research did not yield specifically that rest is considered a measure of productivity, I did find that many people who are highly productive prioritize time for adequate rest.

Despite all of this, some internal part of me still struggles, equating my need to rest as laziness, thereby eliciting a feeling guilt. 

But, I know that this is not true and that I am far from lazy. Those are just the voices of perfectionism, workaholism, avoidance and unworthiness yakking at me. 

Oh those silly fools. I will send love their way as I grab my noise cancelling ear buds and rest my head on the pillow because right now, I want to discover what's possible for me when I get adequate rest. 

Peace, love and thank you for joining me on my journey of discovering whats possible,

Exciting new plans in the works

Comments 1

Guest - Em on Tuesday, 01 June 2021 20:13

Love this post! Love your banter with yourself too. I just fished reading Indians on Vacation. I think you would quite enjoy the main character's banter with himself!

I really related very much to this one and could always use a reminder. xoxo

Love this post! Love your banter with yourself too. I just fished reading Indians on Vacation. I think you would quite enjoy the main character's banter with himself! I really related very much to this one and could always use a reminder. xoxo
Thursday, 28 September 2023

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