“Fatigue is the common enemy of us all – so slow down, rest up, replenish and refill.” – Jeffrey R. Holland
I needed to hear that advice today. One thing in life that I struggle with tremendously is ever taking time to slow down and rest up. I am genuinely horrible at it. I feel like I am programmed to only operate at one speed and that is full throttle. If I ever get two seconds of free time I immediately start filling it with something I have been dying to get done, and that project list is never ending of things I want to accomplish. On the one hand it is that strong work ethic of accomplishment that has gotten me to where I am in my life at this point, but on the other hand I have often pushed that to the extreme and caused my body to be more worn out than is healthy. The bottom line is that I need to learn how to have more balance in my life. I need to do a better job of slowing down once in a while so I can rest and replenish.
Today I have been trying to analyze why it’s so hard for me to slow down when I need to. For example, today – I was so sick yesterday that I couldn’t even get out of my bed for the entire day – a rare occasion for me. And even though I went into today with the intention of taking it easy I found myself doing far more than I should have and tonight I am paying the price for that. So why when I knew I was sick, could I not bring myself to get the rest I needed?
I think the honest answer is that I feel guilty whenever I slow down. I feel like I am somehow dropping the ball and disappointing people that need me. (I can’t help but wonder if these feelings of guilt are worse in women who have been mothers of young children before because we have been trained in the fact that being sick does not mean you get to slow down because these little people are relying on you?) Another reason I struggle to slow down is that I feel like in slowing down I am only getting further and further behind, and thus creating even more work for myself when I recover, which I want to avoid. So I end up pushing myself to keep going even though deep down I know sometimes I really should stop and give myself a break and allow myself time to recover.
That’s why coming across the opening quote of today’s blog really helped me tonight. It was like having someone give me permission to slow down and replenish and refill. It reminded me that I am not doing myself any favors by pushing my body so hard when it clearly needs time to get over being sick.
And so tonight I am going to ignore the boxes of Christmas decorations sitting in my living room, and I am going to ignore the mounds of email waiting for my replies, and I am going to eat some chicken noodle soup and climb into my bed and go to sleep. Trust me when I say that doing that sounds SO much easier than it is for me. I already know that the second I get into bed those little voices in my head are going to start saying, “if you just get yourself up for even one more hour you could at least get a start on your Christmas tree” and “if you just started reading emails for an hour you would be so much further ahead come tomorrow” and “you know you may as well just get up and work for another hour because if you don’t you will lay here in this bed debating it for an hour anyway so why not be getting something done instead”….you see I told you I have a problem…the struggle is real! But despite those voices I am going to bed and when they start in I will stand my ground because Fatigue is the common enemy of all. So for any of you with the same struggle as me I would say slow down, rest up, replenish and refill!