When to Relax

So much to do, do, do.

So much to do, do, do.

“I keep thinking that if I can just get everything done, I can sit down and rest.”

This thought is not new—or unique—to me. I can’t count the number of times I said this, or heard it said.

Twenty years ago I was looking at the farm property that would become my home—58 acres, a space to clear to build a house, outbuildings, room for horses and dogs and wildlife. It occurred to me—maybe for the first time—that my dreams for this property would never be one of those “If I can just get everything done, I can rest” projects. My dreams wouldn’t even be realized in my lifetime.

But the house I was building, now that was something that could be finished, could be done, could be wrapped up. And then I could rest, because everything would be done.

I believed that. I really did.

And it wasn’t true. Houses never get finished. There is always something more to do. It has to be maintained and repaired and tended and cared for like a living thing. Like most everything else in this world, houses are never ever truly finished.

Neither are to-do lists. Or work assignments. Or anything else in this life.

So what to do?

  • First, get used to it. You’re never going to be able to finish everything. Life goes a lot more smoothly when you stop fighting this piece of reality.
  • Second, settle into the present. Relax and breathe. (Be here now, as the mantra goes.)
  • Third, practice leaving things undone. It might be tough at first, but it gets easier.
  • Lastly, celebrate the small pieces that you do finish. From putting away the dishes or brushing your teeth to graduating that no-longer-child, the pieces add up to a lifetime. Rest is required along the way.

Stop and rest before you finish everything. It’s very rewarding.


Posted in acceptance, anxiety, inspiration, self-help on 03/04/2016 09:08 am

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