As we start the new year, I want to write about something that is vitally important to us all and something around which we could all make a resolution – get more rest, unplug, restore. I recently had some situations that provided illustrations of why rest is so important.
Last month, I was driving and my car radio kept blinking on and off. As a lover of music, I hate driving in a quiet car and love to always have some music playing while I’m driving. I kept pushing the power button trying to force the radio to power up and stay on. The more I tried, the more it kept giving me a quick blink and light up as if it was going to come on and then shut off just as quickly. After a while, I decided it might be pointless to keep trying especially since I needed to focus on the road and not on my radio. So I just left it off and let it “rest”. When I got to my destination, I had to turn off the car and get out. A few minutes later, I was back in the car. When I turned on the car, the radio came on with no problems and no more erratic behavior.
Last month I also had been having a lot of trouble with my home cable box. As a lover of movies (music and movies are my thing) I was irked that I wasn’t able to see any good on-demand movies. I tinkered with my box, doing everything in the troubleshooting guide. In addition, I also spent a few hours on the phone with customer care trying to resolve the issue. After exhausting all of my options and those provided by customer care, I was still unable to get my cable box working. Exhausted myself, I finally just unplugged every single plug (plug going from cable box into TV, plug from TV to the outlet, all plugs) for a while and let it rest. After a few minutes, I plugged in all the plugs and began browsing the guide to select my next great movie.
All of this was eerily similar to my own life. When I’m exhausted, I just don’t work well, if at all. Sometimes I push myself only to achieve the law of diminishing returns. An all-nighter is no longer productive for me; it only produces irritability for the next several days and no tangible results, achievements or accomplishments. It’s the voice in my body telling me to rest.
I’ve always been a lover of naps, especially a rainy Saturday afternoon nap. But more than ever, I love all types of rest and it doesn’t have to be sleep, but just time to unplug and recharge. There is no way I can overemphasize the importance of rest and how it has been beneficial to my emotional, physical and spiritual healing journey. So, as you start the year and make all types of resolutions, many that will no doubt require your energy and focus, remember how key a restful mind and a recharged spirit can be to achieving those goals. Happy resolutions. Happy recharging. Happy 2014.
Melanie A. Nix – Triple negative breast cancer survivor. Always striving to color outside of the lines when defining my new normal.