A Season of Rest
A baby is growing inside me. And this sweet, tiny baby is bringing me back into a season of rest once again.
As great as it is to be able to nap throughout my day, the amount I am able to achieve and accomplish in a day is becoming less and less. Many days, to me, this is incredibly discouraging. My massive list of 'to dos' (See my post on Simplifying To Do Lists) has stayed the same for quite some time. My every day list of 'to dos' seems so minimal or unaccomplished, I even wonder why I write it out some days. This, then brings along an extreme lack of motivation which continues my discouragement for the day.
I am being forced to take things slow...extremely slow...once again. (See my post Slowing It Down) While I desire to do more, I am truly unable to and have no choice but to let my overall massive to do list stay dormant. Once again, I need to change my mindset -- I need to embrace the season I am at right now. And this season is all about rest.
A baby is growing inside me. A BABY. Yet here I am talking about how I cannot accomplish daily tasks. Instead I need to fully embrace this moment, these days, these weeks, these months. I need to focus on the jolts of the kicks and the joy of the prepping for baby.
It is tough for me to focus on simply resting -- for at times I trick myself into thinking perhaps I am being lazy. I fill myself with guilt for not accomplishing what I used to be able to do in a day. But why? What is the point of pushing myself down in such a way as this?
Perhaps I am not the only one. Maybe you too are in a season of rest or a season of slowing down. At times it can feel daunting and even boring. At times guilt and feelings of laziness may consume you. At times you too may feel discouraged. Lift yourself up and know that this is just a season. Embrace this season - for the pace of life often doesn't allow for many seasons like this.
Here are some ways that I am hoping to embrace this season of rest right now...and some ways you can too:
1. Smaller Lists. I still think lists are important, and in order to bring a little motivation in my life I need to focus on accomplishing one or two things in a day. But my lists need to be smaller. They need to be completely achievable, which means I need to not discourage myself more by adding as many things as I used to be able to do. My lists now consist of 1 chore, sometimes 1 errand, 1 blogging goal and/or 1 business plan. If I chose to add more after accomplishing these tasks, that is great. But if I just complete these 3 or 4 tasks that is good enough.
2. More Slotted Time for Myself. Naptime for my daughter used to mean getting things done for me. It now means Nap/rest first and foremost...then if time and energy, get one thing done. Make more time for yourself to rest. Be reminded that this time may not come naturally, it is up to you to make it happen.
3. Read. If this is your season of rest take time to sit with a hot cup of coffee and just read. This is not wasted or lazy time since it is resting and it is also time that is stimulating your mind. I am learning that it is okay for me to spend time reading while my daughter is quietly playing. I do not have to be constantly cleaning or keeping busy. Whether I am reading a novel, a book about blogging, a book on business, a devotional book, a book on teaching, or a light hearted magazine this time still feels somewhat productive within my season of rest. Many other seasons in life we do not give ourselves a significant amount of time for such reading, therefore this is one way we can chose to embrace this time right now.
4. Set New Goals and Expectations. As you embrace this season of rest, put your old goals away and make new ones. Whether this season is simply a week for you, or a few months -- looking at your old goals will only be more of a discouragement for you. Make goals that you can feel good about because they are fully doable.
5. Leave the Dishes. And the laundry. And the dusting. And the vacuuming. Just leave it. Be okay with the house not being completely clean every day. Be okay with making quicker dinners and finding short cuts during this time. I find that often I make myself feel guilty for not accomplishing these household duties, when really, no one else is bothered by it. It is often in our head to pressure ourselves to keep a perfectly orderly and clean house, which just isn't always completely realistic at times.
6. Keep a Visual Reminder. Whether it is on your fridge, your night table, your mirror...wherever...keep a reminder that states that it is your season of rest. It may sound silly, but this visual reminder can take away that stress of guilt that you feel when laying down your head for 30 mins, or skipping the laundry for that day.
7. Say 'No' More Often. You will continue being pushed from the outside and it is you who knows what season you are in, what time you are facing. You know what you can handle and what is just too much for yourself at that time. Don't hold on to more responsibilities. Take time to truly decide if this is meant for you at this time and be okay with saying 'no' just for the sake of needing to rest more. People will understand more than you may think, and if they don't -- that is their choice, not yours to take on.
What are some more ways we can embrace a season of rest? The freedom and beauty it feels to simply find joy in this time is incredibly better than living days of guilt and wishfulness.