Rush v. Rest

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Rush versus rest. It’s a battle, always. The pressure to hurry, hurry, hurry and the innate longing to just be. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and attempting to work on the balance of things. Because I do think there can be a balance. There’s a way to give priority to the things that matter the most, while also cultivating space for genuine and necessary rest.

We live in a culture that elevates the rush above the rest, that values busyness and achievement and cheers harder for the people with a little too much of their plates. I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with achievement, and I’m not sure that there is necessarily anything wrong with being busy.  The problem comes when we allow it to become all rush—when we buy into the lie that the keys to love and happiness are more time, more energy, more responsibility, and more plans.

Lately I’ve felt myself falling deeper and deeper into the trap of doing too much and moving too fast. It has become my default mode, a way of living that I embrace without hesitation. I’ve exchanged rest for multi-tasking and planning and crossing things off my to-do list. And it has thrown me off balance in a big way.

Here’s the thing: I need to let the rest win a little more often. Not just the rest that looks like going to bed earlier or lounging on the couch watching Netflix (although that is good, too). I’m talking about the kind of rest that looks like putting down my phone and eating dinner with my husband, at the table with a bottle of wine instead of on the couch while we ignore each other to answer emails and work on our computers. The kind of rest that comes from coffee dates and meaningful conversations, dance parties in the living room, and long, quiet walks. The kind of rest that comes from living with a spirit of love and attentiveness. The kind of rest that is good for both your body and your soul.

The rush is good sometimes, I think. I believe in hard work and doing your best. I also believe that most of the things that keep me busy have merit and add something of value to my life. But I also know that rest is good and that the rush will cease to be good if I don’t let the rest have some space, too. There’s a balance to be had, and I’m more than certain that it’s worth it.

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