May 28, 2019

A season for rest, recreation and re-creation

A new season is nearly upon us, and these times of transition in the natural world can also be a wonderful time for us to pause and reflect on where we have been, where we are, and where we want to go next.

This idea sounds lovely and luxurious, but the reality for most people is they tend to go, go, go, perhaps barely even noticing the changing seasons until they simply can’t continue their pace.

I’ve been there.  In fact, I am there.

When we pour ourselves into challenging projects, meeting stretch goals, building something we care about, even if the experience is wildly fulfilling, we may find ourselves quite simply sapped of energy.  This kind of feeling isn’t about burnout, or about needing a change.  It’s more like having run a race and needing to simply sit down in the grass and drink a bottle of water.  It’s about needing to rest.

Rest, revisited

I have written about the idea of rest before, and I know many of you will recall this post.  Rest isn’t just about naps (although it can be … and naps are wonderful!)  As the work of Alex Soojung-Kim Pang teaches us, rest is about restoring your mind and body, and often the most effective way of doing so involves physically or mentally engaging pursuits.

These pursuits are distinct from work, but they have the wonderful benefit of also sustaining our work by fostering focus, creativity and intention.  In a perfect world, rest should be woven throughout our lives.  Perhaps a regular weekend hike, an adventure in the kitchen (ask me about my tomato juice staycation sometime), or a sculpting class.

There are times, however, when we need a bit more.  We need to press the pause button on something, we need two weeks at the beach with a stack of fluffy novels, or we need to clear a few more evenings on the calendar for more than a few weeks in a row.

I’m sort of at one of these times.  As some of you who know me well know, I have been rather busy of late.  I have had such a wonderful time working with many of you and building this community.  And, spoiler alert:  This community isn’t going anywhere!  But right now it is time for me to sit down in the grass and drink a bottle of water.  Here’s what I plan to do while I refill my cup.

You’ll still see me on social media channels, although I may be a bit quieter.  I plan to continue posting here just as I’ve been for the past year, but at a somewhat reduced frequency for the summer months.  While you are enjoying the sun and sand or mountain sky, my team and I will do the same.  We will enjoy some rest and recreation.

But that’s not all we have planned.  We are also planning some re-creation.  In particular, I will be dreaming up ideas and then sketching out the workflows to support them.  My hope is to come back in the fall with more of value for you.  That means more Metta Solutions resources to help you thrive in work and life, and new ways of truly engaging across this wonderful community.

I hope you will stay with me during this time.  As I said, I am not going anywhere, just slowing down a bit for a short time.

Building rest into your own life

I also hope perhaps this post will get you thinking about times like this in your own life.  One challenge with our go-go-go world is that it can be so hard to even see that slowing down and resting is possible.  I am here to tell you it is possible.  While it would be nice if we could all take off months at a time, or just strike a demanding project or five from our to-do lists, even small acts can make a difference.

Some ideas, small and not-so-small:

  • Look at your calendar for the week ahead, and remove one thing.  More is great, but even just one will help.  Buy yourself some time to think and rest.
  • Aim to take one long weekend every quarter.  And I’m not talking about cutting out early on Friday.  I’m talking four full, luxurious days of no work.  Go somewhere or don’t, but do use it as a time to recharge.  If one per quarter sounds like too much, start by scheduling one.  I suspect you will be hooked.
  • Take more than one vacation each year.  You don’t have to go somewhere splashy and expensive.  You can stay home!  But whatever you do, the point is to shake up your routine and take a break from work.
  • Take a two-week vacation.  It doesn’t matter where you go, or if you go anywhere at all.  For people who work long hours, weeks and months, this might sound both impossible and like the height of luxury.  But here’s what it really is: time off that is long enough for you to first rest … and then re-create.  You will truly come back renewed and ready to face new challenges and seize opportunities.

And that is what I hope for you — that you can find that kind of space for renewal, one way or another.  And that is also my hope for myself, and for this community.  I’m really excited to see what comes out of this rest and re-creation, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. In the meantime, I won’t be far.

How do you build restorative time into your life?

Please share in the comments!

Last updated May 28, 2019

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