Recalibrating Toward Rest

I’ve never really been cutting edge. Growing up, my clothes were hand-me-downs from my fashionable cousin. I get most of my books from the library, so it’s rare I’m reading material that came out at the last minute. Maybe it’s because I’m such a processor that I have to sit with new ideas for a while before committing to action. Maybe it’s just that I’m not cool enough to be a trend-setter.

IMG_8155Right after I started blogging, seasoned bloggers declared that this medium is dead. No one reads blogs anymore! No one comments anymore! The golden age of blogging has passed! Many of these bloggers moved on to write books or create podcasts, which is awesome. I’ve loved many of their books and podcasts. Now, a few year later, some of them are coming back to blogging. In their newsletters, they’ve said they miss this type of conversation.

When I finally took the leap to start writing publicly, it was a bit disheartening to hear that the blogging world was dying. Was it worth it? For me, it has been. I didn’t start writing to get a book deal or build a huge platform. I did it to help view life more intentionally. For me, when I write an essay meant for public consumption, I have to put some thought into my life experiences and the message I’m learning from those moments differently than if I processed in a private journal. As with most creativity, this journey has been more for me than for recognition.

With the announcement of the return to blogging (by some – I’m sure many others are still making the case for the death of blogging) I wondered if blogging had ever really died or if bloggers just needed a rest.

When I’m reading too many heavy books, I know it’s time for a break in that genre when the entire world seems hopeless. Often, I need not look farther than my Goodreads list to see that too many books on mass incarceration can shade my outlook on justice in this world. While these books are necessary, I need to balance them with fairy tales and memoirs to remind me that there are many stories in this world.

When our house seems claustrophobic and the mess seems unbearable, I know it’s time to get outside for a walk or a trip to the park before I tackle the clutter. A change of scenery, even for an hour or so, shifts my perspective of home.

I’ve written before about how we all rest differently – that sometimes rest looks like a nap; sometimes it looks like a hike in the mountains; sometimes it looks like a walk around the block.

What I do know, is that before we declare something dead, we most likely need to take a rest first. Whatever it is – from something as benign as blogging to something as impacting as spiritual burnout – I wonder if we need to pause and rest first. Maybe this means resting from the news or resting from reading Biblical commentaries. Maybe this means resting from journaling or a specific type of exercise. Maybe your rest means more of those same things but in different ways. When I get overwhelmed or easily annoyed, it’s time to rest. It’s time to recalibrate my mind and body, even if just for a few hours.

We’re entering our family’s tax season schedule. If I let myself get overwhelmed, I easily go to extreme places of death and destruction. What I’m trying to remember is that, before I declare our family dead from lack of connectedness, I may just need to rest, to call on my community for help, and to recalibrate what I know to be true.

How do you find rest in the midst of chaos? How do you recalibrate your expectations of an experience or situation when you’re overwhelmed?

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9 thoughts on “Recalibrating Toward Rest

  1. Rest for me is getting quiet. No music, tv, noise … just stillness. For years that would have seemed like torture but the older I get silence feels like rest.

    1. Yes! Silence and rest are so intertwined for me… It’s not my season, so I’m learning to rest in the midst of the chaos but when I get that silence, I’m amazed at how rejuvenated I feel!

  2. Rest… a rare commodity of late. If it were up to me I would find a wide porch, a porch swing overlooking a vast field, forest or water and quietly read. However, I will take my chair in the front room near the window overlooking my neighborhood as you have to find quiet where you can.

  3. I find rest in small nuggets of time. Sometimes I stay in the car for a few minutes before going in the house after a long day. At other times, I retrieve to my bathroom for a long bubble bath, smooth jazz and an aromatherapy candle. I also like sitting on the porch and people watching. Mindless activity brings rest for me.

    1. Right? It’s all about finding those nuggets. When I’m alone in the car, I often keep it silent, just using that errand time for rest. Our front porch is a wonderful spot, too!

  4. I’ve gotten into a nightly habit of reading in the tub. It’s quiet, it’s still, it’s nourishing, and it relaxes my wandering mind. The only problem is, I find myself looking for reasons to do it earlier and earlier 😉

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