About a week ago, I just stopped posting to social media. No warning. It wasn’t planned like some of my earlier off-the-grid exploits. There was just this urgent need to disconnect. And for the seven days that followed, I kept my phone off. (If there had been any type of emergency, I could have been reached through e-mail, which I was still checking sporadically.) When I rejoined the world, there were several messages across different social media platforms from people wondering if I was okay. I was fine. And my time out reminded me of something I’ve always struggled with: the art of rest.
COVID-19 Saved My Life
It may sound flippant to say, but in a lot of ways the COVID-19 pandemic saved my life. It took me out of a job I didn’t enjoy and gave me the nudge I needed to focus on what I’m most passionate about: writing. And it forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and to think of my writing — with a new sense of urgency — as a business and embrace entrepreneurship. The days have been long, littered with small successes and numerous fails. But I’ve also gained deeper perspective about the way forward. And despite having the company of a few unwanted companions, namely doubt and fear, along for the journey, I feel like I’ve finally heeded the call. That I’m faithfully living my life’s purpose.
Taking Time to Rest
I tend to go nonstop, like the Energizer Bunny. Getting up early. Forgetting to eat. Trying to pack as much as I can into a day. Until my body decides it can’t take anymore and gives out on me. That is never fun, and never the type of rest I’m looking for (like in January when the stomach flu had me bedridden for almost a week!). So, this time I’m taking a pre-emptive approach and taking a scheduled rest from my blog, newsletter and, to a lesser extent, social media, for the month of August (it’s my birthday month).
I often forget Eddie Cantor’s wise counsel, that we must “Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”