I went on vacation this week. Ah, blessed vacation, and all the rest and rejuvenation it brings to mind. How about getting shingles the week we are to leave town? Yes, when my high D personality choose to barrel through to get to the end goal, my body gave me a sucker punch to the stomach, quite literally. If you have ever experienced shingles, you know first-hand how painful it is. And for those of you who haven’t, you can be absolutely certain you never, ever want to get them.
This is why I’m breaking from my unschooling series to give you this public service announcement to save YOU from getting body-checked when you try to muscle your way through stress without taking a moment to breathe.
I have seen Olympic athletes force themselves to the finish line despite punctured lungs, broken bones, and all sorts of physical damage that will last well beyond their Olympic years. Is the end goal worth it? I know this is debatable, but wow, I’m through with pushing myself to the limit to the detriment of my body. Shingles is awful, friends.
Watch this. Soak in the words. Balance.
Balance. How is it measured? Is there a perfect weight in life to carry all our burdens, responsibilities, and still manage to embrace the joys that make it all worthwhile? How do we manage this balancing act?
I’ve been guilty of taking on too much. If only could fritter away our responsibilities and obligations like a squirrel and simply soak in the riches for a full season.
I’ve worked myself to illness by barreling through to the end goal of vacation… How much do we muscle through before it breaks us? Unfortunately, we don’t actually know.
I’ve learned that working myself to the ground is not a badge of honor – it simply breaks me down, and I start to live in survival mode.
I’ve learned that “rest” is different for each of us, yet it has a common theme – finding peace and joy in what is.
Vacation. A reboot. A reset. A time where doing nothing and simply being is justified.
It’s a time to let go. No make-up. No to-do lists. No agenda. It’s beautiful sunsets we race home to see. It’s hours of imaginative playtime with cousins who are instant best friends.
Vacation is reconnecting to my soul, and forcing myself not to finish the book, paint my nails, or clean the kitchen. It’s to sit down and write with pen and pencil – no computer. It’s listening to giggles and screams from the girls with their daddy and summer storms that roll in like mighty waves.
It’s fourth of July celebrations in a small town, sneaking girls out of bed to watch fireworks over the lake, and late nights of festivities and fun.
Is life about timing these vacations right before breakdown? If it is, we’ve missed the mark. Thankfully our vacations have caught us when we felt we could go no longer – but why wait until exhaustion?
Why do we push so hard that we risk not even making it to respite? Why do we place our significance in the martyr badge of doing too much?
Balance is not in the doing. You have to make time to rest. Add in a vacation to your daily life. Fifteen minutes of quiet – no agenda, no to-do list. Simply be. It’s amazing what you hear and how your soul rejuvenates. You find the peace within…and you recognize that light in others. Namaste.