image by kawamura

My word of the year is REST, and I’m trying hard to remember this at times. It doesn’t come naturally, and I find myself fighting my word more often than I find myself settling into it.

Rest, for me, is proving hard.

Take last week, for instance. I had flown into a random city for an event I was speaking at and was exhausted by the time I arrived at the hotel. Although it hadn’t been a long flight, I find that the act of travel (even when the flight itself is short) is hardly a rejuvenating one. I was tired. Bone tired.

And yet I had this event. A small, non mission-critical event I had agreed to attend weeks earlier that would hold a few dozen folks I wanted to meet. An event I knew very easily I could not attend, because there were enough folks that my lack of attendance wouldn’t matter. An event I didn’t know if I should go to. And so there I was, in my hotel room, weighing the pros and cons of going versus not going on the phone with my husband.

“What should I do?” I wailed.

“It’s just one event,” he responded, a bit bemused that I was putting such emphasis on such a small decision.

But it wasn’t a small decision. Or, it was, but it was emblematic of a larger decision.

Again and again I find myself faced with the same choice to push myself to go to XYZ or do XYZ on the chance that something professionally powerful will happen: I will meet someone I need to meet, I will learn something I need to learn, I will change my life in the way it needs to be changed. And there are key moments in my life where just this has happened: I met the person that truly changed things for me.

But, as with all things we do in life, much of the time nothing huge does happen. Many times, only little things happen. Sometimes those little things become big important life-changing things, and sometimes they don’t, but usually we can find some value. 

But then there’s the other side. The side that reminds us that we can’t do everything, and if we try to do everything we will fail at more things than not.

So what do we do? Do we show up? Or do we rest? 

I don’t know. So that night, I remembered my word. I rested. 

Was I right? I have no idea. You tell me.

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