2 Speeds

Burning my candle at both endsTwo.  That’s all.  I think most of the time I have two speeds—full speed ahead and completely stopped.  Finding something in between seems impossible most of the time.

I’m not sure how this happened.  I think part of this propensity is hard-wired into my system.  My parents talk about me as a baby pulling myself up in my crib, listening, not wanting to miss a thing while their friends visited till late at night.  The stories go that I would stand with rapt attention till they all left.  Then I’d crash.

In college, I learned I needed to study regularly to succeed—a different norm from high school.  Along the way, I seem to have convinced myself that burning both ends of the proverbial candle would allow me to have both academic success and a social life.  My memories of Christmas vacations during college include lots of tissues and cold medicine.  When I slowed down, I crashed.

This pattern didn’t change for the better when I started teaching.  Six to Seven unique preps kept me busy before, during and after school.  While teaching at boarding school more responsibilities were squeezed into my schedule.  I certainly wasn’t going to let let time with friends fall by the wayside either.

While I probably don’t socialize as much in the current Colorado chapter of my life, the candle still manages to get smaller all the time.  My summers?  Crazy.  The rest of the year?  It’s interlaced with trainings, projects, catching up from the craziness, researching, traveling, working on projects,  developing my support team, and oh yeah—I’m supposed to rest.

I’m not even sure if I know how to rest and rejuvenate.  I know how to stop.  Well, actually my body knows how to stop.  I’m beginning to detect a pattern.  After a few years here, I had major surgery that necessitated halting regular life for six weeks.  Three years ago my body rebelled and I wound up in the hospital three separate times for a week each time.  In November my Achilles repair set me aside for about six weeks.

I’ve learned recovery is rest in some ways, but not in others.  While I may be sitting still, my body is hard at work repairing itself.  It’s more restful than working, but it’s not the same as resting.

For me part of resting is creating.  It’s scrapbooking.  It’s making cards.  It’s sitting at the beach.  It’s riding a horse.  It’s sitting with a good friend while enjoying a cup of coffee and good conversation.  It’s laughing till I cry.  It’s sitting in the corner of a cafe with my journal , coffee (again), a pen that glides across the paper, and the book I’m reading.

I rarely find this speed.  Occasionally I squeeze it in.  I know it’s something I need to figure out.  I know when I rest my body will heal, my strength will last longer; I’ll be a better version of me.  A rested version of me—the me that more accurately reflects God, the creator of rest.

How many speeds do you have?  Have you found the rest speed?

photo courtesy of gfpeck


Today I’ve joined the Faith Barista’s Faith Jam.  Every week Bonnie’s asking other bloggers to “jam like musicians” on a faith and life related topic.  This is my riff on “Rest.”  I’d love to read your thoughts on the topic.  Please leave a comment or a link to your blog if you’ve jammed on this.  And if you haven’t blogged on it, please leave some of your thoughts in the comment section below.  If you’re interested in seeing what others had to say, please follow the link over to the Faith Barista site.

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