Can I Just Be French? Restoring My Damaged Relationship with Rest

Image via Moyen Brenn Flikr Creative Commons

Image via Moyen Brenn Flikr Creative Commons

Recently I ran across a neat post over at Forbes 14 Things Successful People Do on Weekends. It was a real eye-opener for some critical areas where I’m slacking. Namely, I’m not slacking enough.

See, y’all can at least rest assured that, as I’m lecturing you, I have three fingers pointed back at myself. Today’s topic dovetails nicely with last week’s post Entropy is REAL & Author Careers Need Feeding Daily.

ANOTHER Time-Saving Device?

Is it just me or, do you feel like you’re drinking from a fire hose? It seems like the more apps and gadgets and widgets they invent, the more crap we’re expected to keep up with. I rarely feel my time is saved at all. Yet, what would I do without the alarm on my iPhone to remind me not to leave my child at nursery school?

Calling CPS on a negligent mother? There’s an app for that.

Image via Pink's Galaxy Flikr Creative Commons

Image via Pink’s Galaxy Flikr Creative Commons

Repairing My Damaged Relationship with Rest

I grew up in a home that didn’t know how to rest. If you sat still too long, Mom would have you lemon-oiling something or pulling weeds. Weekends were for yard work and painting the kitchen some new color, because, well the current color was at least three months old. 

Yes, my mother is Norwegian and Norway is the motherland of OCD.

Even now, I find it hard not to be doing something productive all the time. If I happen to be on the phone, I fold laundry and clean while I talk. I’m always moving, tidying, scrubbing, and sorting….unless I’m writing :D.

Wash off your dish, or I will hunt you like a dog....

Yes, I wear this apron everywhere except BED.

Before DFWWWCon, I went to get a pedicure and forgot to bring any work with me. I thought I was going to have to be medicated because I wasn’t doing anything productive!

Busy, busy, busy. B.S.

Johnny in the DOG BED.

Cats have the “rest thing” DOWN.

Hotel California

And, have you ever tried breaking free from time-saving? We’ve done paperless billing and auto-debit for the past few years, but then, because Hubby and I are now both full-time entrepreneurs, we wanted bills sent on PAPER.

White stuff. Remember that? So the electric company apparently knows to send me a boatload of meaningless paper junk mail, but did they send the BILL?


Woke up this morning to no power. Had to pay a $40 reconnection fee. A $15 I’m Sorry I’m Human Fee and a $150 I Swear I Will Never Do This Again Fee just to get power.

Yes, it’s why the blog is late.

When did I enter the Moronosphere? The effort it took to get a paper bill was just mind-boggling. They wasted at least an hour of my time to save me time? I’m lost.

Don’t the French drink wine with breakfast?

Yes, I Have a Point

These days there is a lot to do. For writers, we DO have a lot on our plate. This post isn’t to give any of us a pass to get out of working hard, but sometimes I believe we can get too sucked in. We should seek balance.

Work hard, play hard.

The World WILL NOT End

In an age of instant this and that, everyone (including me) wants stuff yesterday. Yet, here’s the thing. What we WANT and what we GET in life are two different things. I now turn off my phone and I don’t check e-mail over the weekends (unless WANA is running a class). I’m also banned from doing ANYTHING on Sunday. No making the bed or cooking. No picking up toys. I veg. I recharge…and my left eye twitches.

But I’ll get better with practice. Have no Make-You-Happy-Meals to serve today :D.

Suck It Up, Buttercup

All people need rest. Creative people especially need rest. Rest is work. Seriously!

Image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Zoetnet.

Image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Zoetnet.

According to that Forbes article, almost all 14 activities successful people did on weekends involved rest. That really hit home for me and showed me where I had to sit still longer if I wanted to climb up higher.

Yet, I admit it. I feel guilty for having fun. I know I have a problem, but the first step to solving a problem is admitting we have one, right? Rest is important. It allows us to recharge the creative batteries.

Resting gives time for our subconscious to chew on problems and come up with brilliant solutions. I know all these things consciously, but it’s going to take time to give myself permission to chillax, especially in a culture that worships workaholics. Games, fun, naps, vacations are just as important as the WORK.

*writes that on sticky notes to paper the house*

Can I just be French?

What about you? Do you feel guilty for resting? Do you not know how to have fun? Do you feel guilty when you’re having fun? Do you have a hard time writing fiction because it’s fun and doesn’t feel like “work,” so you feel bad because you could be cleaning something? Have you overcome your workaholic tendencies? How did you do it? Tips? Tactics? I’m all ears…*sets down Swiffer*.

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of June, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of June I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

Will announce May winner later in the week. Had no power :p. I’ll get there. Sigh.


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  1. I’m still unsuccessful enough to have to fight the urge to play so I can get the work done. Lucky for me, I may soon be adding another part time job to my current roster of part time jobs – Stay at home Dad, Playwright, Script Consultant and Editor and now Library Clerk (Casual, on-call). That should put a crimp in the Battlefront sessions!

  2. I am not entering for anything but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your post. Weekends were created so we could rejuvenate and come back Monday refreshed and gung ho.
    That is also why we have vacations. I do always have a book, my Kindle or a camera on hand though. lol

  3. I’m working on this as well. I can’t remember what the book is now, but there was a study done on the difference between the top tier tennis players and everyone else. What they found was that the best of the best took a pause before they served or made any other important move. It was so slight they could only see it on slow-motion tapes, but that’s one key thing that set them apart from everyone below them.

    1. Great post and Marcie that’s fascinating. I always thought they did that to psyche their opponents out. I’m still working on balance, but I definitely do a lot of family stuff at weekends.

  4. Just back yesterday from two weeks’ vacation, (preceded by another off week that month). For five days, camping alone at the Grand Canyon, my most challenging decisions were where to pitch my tent and what time to take my next hike or nap. Did not touch tech; lost my cellphone charger and didn’t give a rip about being “productive.”

    As a full-ltime freelance writer/ NY author, my production line typically runs very hard and very fast when I am working. When I take a break, I take a BREAK. Without absolute rest and downtime, we all burn out, and get bitchy and boring and resentful. So attractive to our loved ones and clients!

    Having grown up in Canada and having lived in France, I know that Americans have some bizarre neurosis about rest. Try it. You’ll (grow to) like it!

  5. Some years ago I came across a play on words that brought home this very point. If you do not rest you will become rest-less. Worked for me!

    • Julia on June 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    • Reply

    I really do need to learn to rest. Often my busy-ness isn’t really getting helping me towards the things to which I aspire – it’s just being busy. I hope to get better at this rest & restoration biz!

    • Julia on June 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm
    • Reply

    Oops! Error in my previous post! “”busy-ness isn’t really helping me towards…”

  6. I’m either burning the candle at both ends or busily procrastinating. Let me tell you, busy procrastination is exhausting. I think that’s why my husband makes me put on clothes and drives me aimlessly around the country for an hour or so. During which time, I try hard to not mentally dust a plot bunny or make a grocery list. We just listen to music, cruise with the windows down, and watch the stars come in.
    Suck it up, Buttercup. Yeah, you totally should have a tee shirt that says that. 😀

  7. Yup. As usual, you speak to me, Kristen! I never even got to read many of your blog posts last week because I was so busy with my son’s 5th birthday party Friday evening. By Saturday, I was so wiped out. Hubby was super sweet and gave me the “day off” and I had the idea that I might actually get some writing done. Yeah. Sure. lol

  8. Ah, yes. I am one who multi-tasks and runs through the halls at school (I’m a teacher) because I can get to wherever I’m going faster to optimize my time. My husband watched some show on tv the other day that showed that procrastination was a good thing (it referenced a study that showed the most successful tennis players were procrastinators because they were able to put their reaction and swing off until the last second). NOT that workaholics are procrastinators, but for me, I always have SO much on my plate and to-do list that some things get shoved down until the last minute. Great post. Thanks! Christy

  9. Can you be French? It is none of my business, but go ahead. My very good friend from high school, she moved to Norway after she graduated from college Top Notcher. Oslo, is what she told me. I spent the weekend searching on FACEBOOK. Their software needs work, especially the MUSIC. I am sure they will write back that I need to upgrade or something. I cannot delete to put what I want, just hide it. On your FACEBOOK eNewsletter, I understand some of the comments now. I see where FACEBOOK can get a following in the long run, if you are self-publishing. But I am still on the submitting to anywhere traditional so I wondered how an editor would decide to acquire my work of art, simply because I have a FACEBOOK account. It could make me more popular than president. The self-publishers, I see it as a tremendous benefit. I am sure when one starts getting creative with writings and photos; the following will increase of readers.

  10. Kristen, not only are you beautiful but your writing is awesome woman!

  11. I just spent a week out of town, and enjoyed every fun, lazy second! I made a desultory check of Facebook each evening, but didn’t get near Twitter, or my blog, or my email, or my WIP. It was wonderful and rejuvenating, but the catching up from all that disconnecting is exhausting! All those emails to go through and deal with alone has me growling at the dog and snapping at my husband. All this technology we’re plugged into these days seems determined to make us pay for daring to take time off. Next time I think I’ll program an auto-reply that reads, “I’m Not Here and I’m Going to Ignore You Until I Return.” It won’t help, but maybe then I won’t feel so darn guilty for deleting so many unread emails.

  12. You are so right! I feel guilty resting, too, and I thought it was just me. Love your blogs. You are the only blog I read daily!

  13. I used to feel guilty about rest until I got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome….then I learned how to rest. Now I probably rest a little too much, just for good measure. But I’m slowly getting used to doing more and more. You really need to learn to love resting! It’s delicious.

  14. I fall into the “one more thing” trap more often than I realize. And now that I’m planning my wedding, my time seems to fill up with anything but rest faster than I realize. Yesterday (Sunday), I spent 8 hours building spreadsheets, organizing budgets, making guest lists, brainstorming ideas and before I knew it, my “day off” was gone.

    And that’s a regular occurrence.

    You’re right. I need to reconnect with my pillow more often.

  15. Thanks Kristen—great post. I feel guilty about resting too, although I am better than I used to be. I still feel that I have to justify sitting and just relaxing, watching TV or dvds etc., even though I know that I am much more productive after a break. I also have a hard time writing fiction because it is fun and I can lose myself in it. Consequently I push it to the bottom of the list and do all the other writing tasks first. I think I know what I have to do! Love your blog and I do read it daily!

    • Pirkko on June 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm
    • Reply

    I totally agree. Since I retired from teaching I have been busy with so many distractions that it eats up my time for writing. I want to enter my name for a critique. I am a newbie writer.

  16. After life knocked me on my arse over a period of time I took the hint, nothing is worth working yourself to death over. *Does writing count?* The yard? By the look of it it’s still alive, I’ll do it when I feel better. Besides those flowering weeds are attracting butterflies.The car? That layer of protective mud isn’t going anywhere darling, it keeps the bugs from sticking to the paintwork. The housework? Look Babe your Mum’s been dead over twenty years, she won’t mind if you haven’t dusted this week. I’m not lazy, I’ll work my butt off when necessary but I won’t put enjoyment aside for housework. When you die if the worst thing you’re remembered for is your untidy house then you didn’t do too badly at all.

    • Melissa Lewicki on June 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm
    • Reply

    The cat picture was perfect. Nobody does the relaxing thing better than a cat. We have a 20 year old cat that sleeps about 22 hours a day. The other two hours she is demanding to be fed, actually eating (or turning her nose up at what we have offered) and pooping. She has no “to do” list and worries about NOTHING. She has no concept of what guilt even means. I need to be more like a cat.

  17. Every time I take the time to relax, I say, “Wow, I should do that more often.” But then something grabs me and I forget. I read an entire book on Saturday and did (almost) nothing but set on my butt. It was delicious.

  18. Thanks to my religious observance I’m required to take 25 hours off from phones/Internet/etc. every week as well as up to 3 days for some of holidays. I didn’t realize how important it was until 9/11 when I was cut-off from the news for 3 days. It helped pull me out of depression and put things back into perspective.

    Now I drive people crazy when I’m “on vacation” as I ignore my ringing phone during times I’ve let people know I’m not available.

    Having chronic fatigue and then being hit by a truck has also taught me the importance of rest of both the body and mind. If I overdo it I relapse and become fairly useless for days/weeks. Plus I’ve again been reminded of what’s important. Funny how a life and death experience does that to one. When I’m on my deathbed I’m pretty sure I’ll be saddened about the times I could have spent with loved ones but was in “must work 18 hour days 6 days a week” mode.

  19. Sorry I cannot help you, I got into writing thinking it would be easy as I am very much a lazy guy. Despite my disappointment I’ve become far too addicted to stop it. I can lie in my bed for days just writing or even staring at the stars on my bedroom ceiling. procrastination is my key vice.

    Such is life.

  20. Yeah, I have a non-Norwegian Type A mother who wouldn’t let us sit still. She did take us to do fun things at times – once the floors sparkled, walls shone, weeds disappeared; you get the picture. For the past three years I’ve been working full-time, going to college full-time and trying to write, wife and mother. I seriously need to rest.
    I graduate on June 22 and fly away the same day. Can’t promise I’ll rest, but I’m going to try!
    My tip for resting is to get away from your house. At home all the undone chores won’t let you chillax.

    • Thomas Linehan on June 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm
    • Reply

    you’re just too funny. I had my wife who kinda falls into the same category. You may have a new follower.

  21. It took me forever to learn to stop saying hard work. Work is hard but not all the time at every moment. Selling our small business helped. Now I try to take time to read and not feel guilty about not writing! Keep going! You can get the resting thing down!

  22. Have always believed cats have got life down. That half hour spent on the couch napping can always be written off as research. Stopping every now and again is good for you. You get to see what a good job you’ve done so far..

  23. I was a workaholic before illness gave me chronic fatigue. Now I’ve learned to pace myself so every day is a mixture of work and rest. I really enjoy my quiet time now, and I’ve learned how to sit still and be in the present. Even if it’s only for a few minutes I feel refreshed and recharged.

  24. I take a couple of afternoons off each month just to rest, turn everything off and let myself recharge. You gotta give your mind some love, not just creative rest but rest in general. Otherwise life will burn you out IMO.

  25. Last night I got out of bed at midnight to send a couple emails, and then design a new invoice. Ended up staying at my computer until 2:30. I used to be very good at relaxation. But now that I’m working for myself, I feel guilty.

  26. This is such a difficult thing to balance! I’ve been suffering with a chronic illness for over 5 years now, which taught me how to rest. Now that I’m getting better, I have to re-learn how to rest when you actually have energy to do things.

    For example, right now I’m sitting in bed battling some kind of sore throat thing. Now is probably the perfect time to be resting… I should get back to that. 😉

  27. It took illness to slow me down, but I still suffer the guilt and am working on that. Still, though I’m now forced to pursue rest, my creativity is the better for it. Yes, I had wisdom forced upon me and still I resist. Fortunately, the wisdom is stronger than I am.

  28. Haha I definitely feel guilty when I don’t get anything constructive done. Even with my play-time… today I watched TV while making scale-mail just so that I could do TWO fun things AT THE SAME TIME and feel constructive. …But I still felt guilty for not working on my writing. XD No win!

  29. Oh dear! Here I am, it’s early morning here and I haven’t slept yet. Not a wink! And I know why: I stayed up far too late…into the wee small hours…trying to catch up with emails, Google+, blogs like this and my own blog. I never did get to the writing I wanted to do. Modern technology is wonderful: I love all that I can do on my laptop and my iPad and the Internet in general, but, oh….how time consuming it all is!
    Can I be French too, please? If that’s what it takes to get a good sleep!

  30. It’s 2:25. I promise I’ll go to bed by 3. Rest is hard for me, too.

  31. Oh, no, I never feel guilty about resting – look upon it as thinking time + ideas time = preparation for writing time. Listen to your body and sit when you have to, lie down if you must. Rest is peace.

  32. you sucked me in with the title of this blog … as a long time resident of france, and southern california, let me tell you that the whole working to live not living to work thing is definitely possible. it’s a cliche for a good reason: at the end of your life you’re not going to regret not working that one extra hour, a precious sixty minutes that could have been spent enjoying life. besides, art’s created in the moment – and you can’t be truly present unless you’re relaxed. good luck in your quest to let go of the guilties.

    • catherinelumb on June 4, 2013 at 4:45 am
    • Reply

    A post very close to my heart – I was once also a slave to all things busy. But, then I was hit with Swine-Flu and I developed CFS/ME. Learning how to rest was the most difficult challenge I ever had to face (and that’s saying a lot). And I mean rest as in the ‘doing absolutely nothing but breathing’ type because if I try and sneak in some plotting, or a TV prog or something similar, I pay for it.
    The Mindfullness approach worked wonders for me – and if you struggle with real rest I advise looking it up. You need to practice, but it’s so worth it.
    Fab post Kristen – we all need to remember to have ourselves some downtime occasionally, otherwise we can crash and burn.
    Take Care (and rest), Cat x

  33. When I was still writing my MArch thesis for 2 years I learned very early on that I could work everyday for up to 10 days, all day, when I would mentally crash for 4 days. So I started taking Saturday evening through Sunday off and I could get back into it easily on the Monday. I am trying to do that now with work and writing work, especially because my family deserves some of my time too. Good luck on finding your balance.

  34. Honest confession time. Kristen, I love what you do. And (this isn’t a *but* it’s an *and*) you intimidate me woman! 😉 I’m honestly struggling with this because, I understand what you say and I want to apply it, but I just don’t know if I *can* without working my way into a hospital bed. And to be fair, it’s not you. You are the messenger. It’s this crazy internet world we live in and what it’s done to the writing profession. While it’s absolutely GREAT to have all these opportunities, it seems to me all the opportunities are requiring us to work even harder to break out of obscurity. Does that make sense?

    I’m not here to be a negative Nancy, just to say, when I assess my life and everything I need to balance, I have serious concerns about whether I have time to be a writer, not only one who writes, but also one who manages to be *found* by readers. As for the technology aspect, I work in IT so I’m inundated with it, and the pace of change is pure craziness! This post is most definitely warranted (and timely) because the biggest challenge I face is how to follow my dream and not go crazy or make myself sick in the process! The balancing act is a skill of it’s own, and it’s taking me years to develop. :/

    The fact that you can turn off your phone and avoid email is a huge step! For part-time writer peeps like me, I’m not sure that’s a viable alternative, but blocking designated free time on weekends might be.

    • AMMahler on June 4, 2013 at 7:50 am
    • Reply

    These are always so great! Just to let you know, I linked your blog to my school’s Facebook page. I am a creative writing major and have given your links throughout my courses. If you’re interested in seeing where this one went, it’s at:!/groups/snhuwriters/

  35. I work full time so Saturday is a work day, a writing work day, I can’t sacrifice it to rest because that would set me back. And Sundays, I do relax but when I get home, chores await. So I guess I never really enjoy an entire relaxing day… I need to work on that.

  36. Loved this blog, Kristen!
    I believe we all should go back to the time when Sundays were meant for rest and relaxing. Back to when stores were closed for the day and there were no Little League games or soccer tryouts. Sundays were set aside for visiting family, friends, reading the newspaper and enjoying a huge mid-day meal together. We had that day to just “be”.
    There is no respect for Sundays or relaxing anymore. Why, my son’s lacrosse banquet this year is on Father’s Day! Can you imagine? Not that I’m a father, but still. It just shows how our society has come to a total disconnect and disregard for the importance of family and down-time.

    • PJ Ryley on June 4, 2013 at 9:03 am
    • Reply

    I can’t remember who said it first, but to sum it up, “We’re human BEings not human DOings.” Rest is so important. The most rest I did when I had kids at home was my reading time, which was usually right before I dropped off to sleep at night. When my kids all “flew the coop”, I suddenly found that the job I’d had for 25+ years was (almost) over! If I had learned to rest more during that time, it might not have been such a shock to me to have all this time on my hands. No more hockey practice and games every weekend, and I even – gasp – bowed out of certain church obligations. I turned to learning the craft of writing and nurturing the relationships that I’d neglected or not started for all those years. But for me, nothing beats sitting on a beach near the ocean reading a book. My ultimate kind of rest. In the meantime, I savor some time each day. Maybe some of this comes with age. 🙂
    Love, love, love your blog, Kristen.

  37. My husband needs to read this blog. He’s constantly in motion. We tried watching Arrested Development last night and he was up at least three times to check email or look something up or get his coffee and vitamins ready for the morning. I sat on the couch and snuggled the dogs while he was bouncing all around the house.

    Resting comes naturally to me cause I’m lazy 😛 It’s the work part that I am constantly having to work on.

  38. Someone suggested this week that I start meditating. And I am the WORST meditator. My body starts twitching, my mind is flying through 12 thoughts per second, and one of those recurring thoughts is, “When is this over? When can I move?”

    Which just goes to show how much I need to do that. I need to learn to be still and focused, to rest. Thanks for the reminder!

  39. So do I get extra points because I missed your Webinar last night because I was busy kayaking with a buddy? And I didn’t even obsessively wash my kayak afterwards!

  40. Absolutely! I don’t have time to rest! My husband says, “For someone who doesn’t work anymore (he later qualified that and said “doesn’t earn money working anymore”) you are the busiest person I know, always doing about three things at once.” Why is it we feel guilty for any downtime? Is it just in our genetic makeup? I do need to learn how to relax every once in a while. Thanks for the reminder Kristen!

  41. Ah…rest…how quaint. Lol. My hubby begs me to find balance. And you’d think I would have found it by now because he is a pro. But I grew up in the same type of household…still working on it…

  42. Took my laptop on vacation with me, but didn’t open it one time. It was so nice! Now I’m ready to jump back into my story refreshed…

  43. At my age, I require rest to keep up. It’s surprising how tasks look better after a good night’s rest.

  44. Do you believe in telepathy? Because yesterday (instead of even finding this post and reading it) I didn’t write a single word! This is what I almost proudly told the kids when they got home from school. Instead I goofed off with my fellow widow/ers in a Facebook group. I did also step outside occasionally to do a bit on the new patch of garden. And it was great!

  45. Also enjoy playing one (and one only) Facebook game at a time, I really like the time out from being serious about trying to get discovered etc, and having a little fun (until the game starts to suck and become too much hard work).

  46. This really hit home. I was guilty of this for a lot of years. 50 was a magic age for me—I realized the world would not come to a screeching halt if my furniture had dust on it and my carpets weren’t vacuumed. My only regret is that I didn’t realize this when my kids were still little. I wasted a lot of Saturdays house cleaning. I doubt my young ‘uns cared whether or not the house smelled lemony fresh. Writing is tough to pull away from because I so enjoy it, but this, too, benefits from a little space.

  47. Trying to learn to really rest. I’m not so good at this as I tend to be a multitasker and sometimes make myself feel guilty for not doing stuff.

  48. Kristen – Just curious, but why did you want to go back to receiving paper bills?

    1. Running a business, we are just overwhelmed with e-mail so they were easy to lose. Also helps for tax deduction purposes.

  49. I definitely feel guilty for resting, but I also aint as productive as you. And the worst part is the procrastination! Someone once said “the difference between procrastination and taking a break is that one uses energy, the other regenerates it.” That is so true. After a real break – just staring into nothing or reading a good book or go for a walk – I’m always more productive!!

  50. We do what we value. Somewhere in our genetic code comes the idea that rest is not valuable, so we don’t do it. We think we have to work our way into heaven, however, we define that. Heaven may be an immaculate house or a best-selling novel, and we fail to see how rest contributes to that end goal.

    Even machines need down-time. Even mechanical things need to stop doing their intended purpose and cool down. Machines that function non-stop break sooner.

    We like to mock cats for their laziness, but do we stop to think about what they are actually doing? Cats are capable of amazing feats of strength: running, jumping, climbing, hauling down prey that’s moving and masses as much or more than the cat. Cats store their energy so they can use it in bursts. They don’t chase their tails for the heck of it. Granted, house pets are their own breed, but I hope the point comes across.

    How many movies or TV shows have we seen in which the protag takes a deep breath, time seems to stop, and s/he suddenly moves and completes the previously impossible action?

    Rest takes practice and deliberate effort. It’s a reservoir that we must purposely fill up every chance we get. Nothing’s worse than needing something, not having it, and not being able to get it in time. Rest/peace are not the absence of conflict; they happen in the middle of conflict. When the kids are crying, the stack of bill falling over, the spouse griping about the horrible Job, the in-laws complaining, and the world crashes down, rest in what’s in the middle of that. It’s what lets us pick up the most important task, complete it, and move to the next without falling apart.

    If we want to be better at meeting deadlines, we’ve got to be rested when we hit the final backstretch. Want that extra burst of productivity? Dip into your personal savings account. This, my fellow WANAs, is proactivity: storing up rest for that rainy day. Let’s not be caught without it.

    (this mini-sermon brought to you by someone who needed to hear it herself.)

    1. Beautiful comment. And I don’t mock cats…I am SERIOUSLY jealous :D.

  51. Know How To rest… or How To enjoy life? Once upon a time, eons ago yes, I knew and your article kind of opened my eyes and I realized that I haven’t really laughed, be happy or do something I love for myself and by myself in a loooooong time 🙁 This have to change!

    … and I have also another big problem in my life… my problem? I am a writer. Oh! Dear! Can you imagine that I am surrounded by a population of mexican jumping beans for whom, if you sit more than 5 minutes — and in front of a computer on the top of it, you’re a lazy ass, suspected of playing games all day long, asked if you don’t have anything more important to do in life or nastily told to get a “real” job? Not really valorizing and uplifting! Really hard to work in this kind of surrounding. Constant fights and arguments and lost of precious time and more upsetting, the lost of an idea or a string of thought or an important point for the book… and the rising of an unconfortable “shadow of guilt” where you ask yourself… “what if they were true”… shivering thought that is shaken out as fast as possible but… the guilt and the doubt had already scratched your heart.

    Writing for me (and for many, many, many writers) is soooo important and vital that I can’t just say forget about it… so I might have to clear house and go live alone… at least for a while… to binge on writing and to live for myself and get few moments of happiness.

    Hope I will be lucky this month 🙂

  1. […] is the best job in the world. I love what I do and, frankly it’s a huge reason I struggle with resting. My work rarely feels like work…unless I’m in The Dip, which I’m in now. We […]

  2. […] and expectations (of ourselves and others). As we talked about earlier, I am still working on discerning when to rest. We are all works in progress. Give yourself permission to be […]

  3. […] Can I Just Be French? Restoring My Damaged Relationship with Rest | Kristen Lamb’s Blog […]

  4. […] many writers, I have a damaged relationship with rest. I keep pushing when I should stop and allow myself to recover. I decided my flu was the perfect […]

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