Yesterday I was working from the house. My oldest had a Christmas festival at school and I really wanted to go, so I stayed home. (Hey, why can’t dad have a little bit of pre-school cheer too?)
My wife was working on Christmas cards while I was lost deep in my own thoughts nibbling on whatever tasty treat was nearby. “I think I’m going to take next week off,” I mentioned as an aside. There was a pause.
“Like, off-off?!” she asked incredulously.
“I think so. I’ll do some relaxing, reflecting and a bit of planning of course. But I think I want to take the week off.”
“What brought this on?” (Back story for you: This will make our 9th Christmas together and I’ve not once truly taken more than Christmas day off. Last year I scheduled a conference call on Christmas Eve – in the morning. It’s nothing neurotic, I just like what I do and enjoy making progress in my work. Not a need to work but a genuine enjoyment of it.)
We talked a bit, but what it came down to was that I just felt like I needed to slow down for a week. I’m not burned out. Nothing is crashing around me. Heck, in some ways I have a lot of reasons to ramp up next week to knock out some things I haven’t been able to get to in the normal work weeks. But something inside me just keeps repeating…take some time to rest.
I’m not the best guy in the world to talk with about this topic. Just sitting still is a skill that I’m terrible at (yes, it is a skill). Taking time to rest for me most often ends up being a block of time I use to do a bunch of projects that have been waiting on me to have time.
Ideally though, shouldn’t resting be, well, restfull?
Knowing myself, if I don’t have a plan walking into next week it’s gonna be an epic failure. I’ll either blow it by entertaining myself (not gaining the level of refreshment and energy I should from resting) or working on a bunch of things that aren’t “work” (thus not really resting at all).
So I’m going to spend a little time this week thinking about how I can be intentionally restful. That sounds weird to me, but it’s the only way I know how to describe it. I want to rest and be still. But I want to let that stillness have a deeper impact on me than just mindlessly getting through a week. I want to have a chance to allow myself to be refreshed, to reflect and to gain some deeper energy and insights that will help me be a better dad and person.
Growing as a dad, leader, individual doesn’t always have to be about going, doing and stretching. Maybe sometimes it’s about not doing any of that and instead just letting yourself observe the deeper things of life from a position of stillness.
Do you take time to be still? And are you any good at it? I’d love to get any feedback from you on how to do this because I’m a complete rookie!