reflections · reflective practice · relaxation


Rest. Why does this seem like a dirty four letter word? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about rest. We were on fall break last week. You might think I took rest to the extreme considering I checked-out and didn’t even blog on Friday. Unfortunately this isn’t the truth.

I crammed in as much as possible on my vacation days. Things for work, home, and writing. Sometimes I do this — go-go-go— and forget to rest. Sometimes I’m so busy go-go-going that I don’t even remember to do the things I want to do. I don’t remember the things that are ingrained. I don’t remember the things that are most important. Quite simply, I dropped the ball on Friday when it came to writing a blog post and going for a run and completing a writing assignment.

Since I’m still trying to be intentional about focusing on what I can do instead of what I’m not doing, I did some thinking about rest. It keeps popping up in my reading. I’m reading a nonfiction book and the idea of rest wrapped its way around the information. I read a YA book and the theme of rest bubbled to the surface. I’ve read a series of devotions, and wouldn’t you know it? — rest kept emerging as a main idea.

On Saturday and Sunday I didn’t turn on my computer.  I only used my phone to text and call (shocking, right?). I sat and stared into space. I read a book. I read another book with the kids. I sipped coffee and wondered about a complex character. I held a newborn for hours. She slept, and I breathed in her sweet new baby smell. I spent time in the kitchen without rushing. I took my time folding the laundry. I went for a run. I went for another run. I listened. I contemplated.

It might be easy to consider inactive a synonym for rest. I’m not sure this is true, though. For me, rest takes intention. Humans are hard wired for rest. It is essential. I’m learning it is more than slowing down. It is intentionally rejuvenating myself. I’m still trying to figure out how to do this and balance my life filled with beautiful chaos.

I think it has something to do with an unabashed love for others, gratitude for the good stuff, and letting go of the failures.

6 thoughts on “Rest.

  1. Thank you for the timely post. When I had young children, my mom used to say that I needed to take care of myself before I could truly take care of my kids. I think the same hold true for the students in our classroom. We we are at our best – we can give them our best.


  2. I absolutely love your final sentence. Sometimes it is amazing the things that take intention; it’s a tricky balancing act. Glad you found ways to be restful. Oh, and there is nothing better than a peaceful sleeping baby in your arms to slow you down. Loved that.


  3. Ruth, thank you for stating rest may not be doing nothing but doing to rejuvenate and be at peace. Our lives are busy as teachers and having 3 kids. Nothing is impossible but trying a bit of balance sounds good.


  4. Don’t you love the way things keep appearing everywhere we look once we start noticing? Rest…I suspect I will encounter that idea a lot this week thanks to your call to pay attention.

    I, too, spent hours holding a newborn this weekend–my cousin’s baby at a family get-together on Sunday. There is something about a sleeping newborn that compels one to slow down and soak up life.


  5. You are so spot on. I have been in the go go mode for a while. Saturday night I collapsed at 8:30 and slept 10 hours! I needed it. I also need to look at the full moon, take a walk, and call a friend. When we are intentional about the things we do, we feel balance and energized.


  6. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time. I am home because of Sandy and feeling that I need to get lots done with the extra time I have. Your post is a wake up call to see this as an opportunity to relax, read a book and take a nap.


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