The happiest (and busiest) time of the year.

Resting at Christmas at pamelapetrus.comI sat on my couch on Saturday afternoon, literally too exhausted to get up and do any of the things that I’d previously intended to do that day. I suppose it was a bit ambitious to consider that I’d do anything productive after the whirlwind of a week we’d experienced. Matthew and I both worked long, hard days each day last week and then had some sort of event to attend in the evening hours, each putting us getting home well after our usual bed time. Literally, we had an event every single night last week. Each day as we talked about being simply exhausted, we’d continue on to the next event with a smile. Each day, as we rushed off to the next engagement, we discussed how we wanted to attend each and every event, yet we were so tired from the hustle and bustle of the week. This week, I’m hoping for a bit more time to rest and be at home.

As I sat there almost motionless on Saturday, I thought about just how much I need down time…how much I’ve come to love my simple routine. Once upon a time I was superwoman…a mover and a shaker that did absolutely everything for everyone, taking very little time for myself. I’d go and go until I eventually crashed and burned. I’d recuperate and then do it all again until I came crashing back down again. I even used this approach with my real estate business. In the first year, I often worked from 7:00 am until 9:00 or 10:00 at night with very little help. Then I crashed. Actually, I crashed so hard that I almost locked up the doors and quit selling real estate altogether. True story.

Instead, I finally realized that I had to change my approach. I needed quite time. I needed days with no makeup. I needed time to sit and regroup quietly in the comfort of my own home. I needed days where I didn’t change from my pajamas until well past the normal hours. Actually, when I began drinking coffee, is when I first started giving myself little breaks and taking things more slowly. Now, after almost a year of carving out time to rest and relax, I feel like a new person. I also feel completely out of whack if I don’t get that time. I am emotional and short-fused. Sometimes I feel physically ill and my headaches come more often. I’m not a master of resting just yet, and my body is the first to show signs when I’ve skipped down time more than I should.

On Saturday, as I finally had a day to rest, I pulled up my blog reader to find 111 unread blog posts on Bloglovin’. I don’t follow tons of blogs, so 111 unread posts is nonsensical. My usual routine is to catch up on the week’s posts on Saturday or Sunday morning. Most of the time, I wake up before Matthew and sip my coffee while catching up on my favorite writers from the week before. Clearly, I haven’t been able to do that for quite some time. Actually, I as scrolled back, I realized that that last posts I’d seen were from Thanksgiving. This means, my usual routine has been upset for several weeks, which helps explain why I feel so off kilter.

In the past as I’ve struggled to carve out time for resting, I’ve posting things like this and this in the past. Both of these were written after somewhat of a “crash.” It’s been a daily struggle for some time to actually relax. When things get tough and I feel burdened with responsibility, my personal time is the first to go. I quickly forfeit my time to rejuvenate as soon as I feel obligated to complete some other task.

As the busyness of the holiday season comes in full force, I know that it’s even more important than usual to be sure I’m resting. I need to be sure I save some time for myself to do nothing. To sit. To read or relax. Why does it feel so hard to do?? How can I be sure that I don’t continually hit the burn out stage before resting? I don’t have that answer just yet. However, I know that I must continue to be diligent in saving some time for myself. I must fight for rest, even if the person I’m fighting is myself and my own insecurities. As we embark on another busy holiday season, I hope that you, too, make time to rest. I hope you sit quietly and sip slowly. We all deserve that right, after all.

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