Some days, it’s like I’m hitting my head against the wall. Why? Because I can’t seem to learn a simple lesson: the importance of rest.
I keep pushing myself to do more, be more. And that despite how I’m feeling. At some point, the body says, “No more,” and I end up grounded. That’s what happened to me. Upon my return from Frankfurt, Germany, earlier this month, all the signs were there that I was sick. Aching bones (it hurt to put on a shirt). Chills. Nasal congestion. Sore throat. Hacking cough. I battled a fever of 102°F. I was so exhausted that I spent a lot of time in bed or stretched out on the sofa. I had four days off, plenty of time to get better (or so I thought). I returned to work still feeling exhausted, still coughing, still miserable. There I was pushing myself again, and for what? Only to end up booking off and having no choice but to rest. Nineteen days after the first signs of illness appeared, I’m finally feeling better.
Those nineteen days were rough. That’s because resting feels so unnatural to me. Even when I’m sick, I still try to do laundry, unload the dishwasher and even write. I may not have the strength to stand very long, or the ability to concentrate (when it came to writing), but I feel like I have to try. There’s this almost compulsive need to keep going and going, like the Energizer Bunny.
It’s hard. Me voluntarily taking the time to rest, that is. I might be blowing my nose every two minutes and coughing up a lung, but when I see people rushing about the city, I’m caught up in that rush. Instead of slowing down, I’m speeding up — putting the metal to the pedal to meet the sometimes crazy expectations I set for myself. “Forgetting” to rest, it’s my overall health that suffers. And when I end up sick nothing gets done.
Today, I feel like I’m finally coming up for air. I’m back writing, working on the revisions to my manuscript. Being sick the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been online much and am now trying to re-engage on social media.
I hope this time that I can learn the lesson on the importance of rest. At the very least, let me take the counsel of Eddie Cantor: “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.”
Are you taking time to “slow down and enjoy life?” What’s the one thing you do to help you re-energize? Let me know in the comments section below.
Today’s blog post is inspired in part by the Word Press Daily Prompt for 30 August 2017: Enamored.
Gregory Josephs says
Marcus, I’m sorry you weren’t feeling well, but I’m glad that seems to be mostly behind you. I have such a tough time not being productive, so I understand the struggle completely.
In regard to taking time to slow down and enjoy life? I’m putting in a real effort. It’s September now, which is the beginning of my favorite time of year. Each year I try to make a concerted effort to appreciate every day of September in some small way. . . it’s like I’m always waiting for the fall, and if I get too swept up in the day to day it passes me by without noticing.
This year with my book launch, etc. I’m worried it’s going to slip by even faster. So this post is a great reminder to take some time to take it slow. Maybe this weekend I’ll completely unplug for a day or two. Ugh, it sounds really nice!
Here’s hoping you’re well!
I am feeling better, thanks. I thinks its important to try to appreciate every day in some small way. You’re right: it’s so easy to get swept up in the day to day.
Every now and then I completely unplug from social media. With the exception of scheduled tweets, I go off the grid. It’s a marvellous thing (even if just for one day).
I’m just back from Milan, and even though I took some writing with me, I didn’t write until the flight back. In that way I unplugged, and I hope going forward my writing will be a little crisper, have a little more song to it.
Once again, congrats on the book. I’m looking forward to reading it.