I am a big, HUGE believer in down time. I have not been a follower of my own beliefs in 2011.
Down time to me is defined as bed, rest, books, reading, sometimes movies, scrambled eggs, wine, sometimes magazines, list making (it relaxes me...don't judge), coffee...lots of coffee, candles, pajamas...flannel pajama bottoms (year round and yes, I know I am odd), big white, soft and worn in, v-neck t-shirts (preferably old ones that belonged to my step-father), lots of pillows, a cardigan sweater (don't ask me why), lots of quilts, writing (journals or otherwise), deep breaths, naps, deep, deep sleep.
What I have learned in my 40+ years...nearly 23 of that living as a single woman with jobs, school, sometimes both of those at the same time, a dysfunctional family that was sometimes overly clingy coupled with guilt while other times distant and aloof meaning you had to work twice as hard to get a conversation, a life that is deep fried in customer service (imagine the state fair...every part of my life...deep fried), and a multitude of tasks that I said yes to when I probably more often than not really wanted to say no....I have learned through all of it that I need down time in the worst ways. I will either keep that balance in my life, or God will remind me of the need when I least expect it, and when I least need to take the time away from my "life".
My most recent "down time" was unplanned and unscheduled. It happened late Christmas evening when my body started failing me....just shortly after I felt the meltdown coming on in my mind. You know that meltdown...the point where you have smiled and said yes just one too many times, and if you have to do for one more person that is not yourself, or have to suffer through one more, "of course I am fine" or "I got it"....you simply, well you simply might explode. I felt the meltdown coming on and headed for the hills (or the hollow), and that was a blessing because it was only a precursor to my body crashing after months of intense stress and strain combined with a horrific stomach bug that has been streaking through our offices, not once, not twice, but on and on. I have remained immune. Until now.
Lesson...I am not made of steel or even Teflon.
Next lesson...there is nothing worse than the stomach flu...okay food poisoning, but is there really that much difference??
I have spent over two days in bed...no television, Internet, FB, Twitter, writing...nothing. I simply rested. Slept. By day two I could sit partly upright, and with that I started reading. I finished two books in less than eight hours. They were both marvelous, marvelous books. One is Beautiful Outlaw and the other Kisses from Katie.
With that, I now have figured out why I got sick. I believe God, Jesus, the Universe were trying to get me still enough so that I could read those two books. My body wasn't the only thing that needed rest and healing. My mind, my spirit...well, they have been running on fumes.
I love my life. I am a very blessed girl. Lets get all of that straight right now.
I am just a girl though...too often in need of a pillow. :)
I am too often a girl who subjugates my life for others. I like to think of that as one of my better qualities...right up to the point that it becomes one of my not so great qualities.
I needed to get sick. I needed time to rest. Time to sleep. Time to purge my body (unfortunately quite literally). Time to make decisions about what I want 2012 to look like for me. Whoa.
Sometimes I type before I think...
Everyone has plans for me. Needs me. Wants me. The question is...What do I want for me? Even more than that...What does Jesus want for me? Is this the year that I finally give up control to him??? I can hear my dear friend John laughing. Hell, I am laughing. I have struggled with control my whole life. I lost complete control of my life at 9 years old, and I have been trying to grab it back ever since.
You know why I don't take down time...because I don't want to think. It is a hell of a lot easier to simply live and keep the wheel and the plates spinning. That is why YOU don't take down time too.
AND that is exactly why you and me need to take it. The truth is...we are not living. We are surviving. God did not send me here to survive. He sent me here to live. It is about time I figure out the difference. Once and for all. Because I keep finding ways to squeeze "living" into my life from time-to-time, but I have yet to master it on a consistent basis. Hell, I cannot even get a Kindergarten diploma in it.
Down time...dang you. I needed it, but the jury is still out what I am going to do because of it. :)
When was the last time you took true "down time" for just you, just God, or just you and God?? Have you taken the time to sit down and really think about what you want 2012 to look like for you??
You have a few days left. My advice. Skip the big party, the big sales, and the big whatevers. Instead, take some down time and swim in lake you.
New Calendar. New Year. New Day. New You.
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)