Rest

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Camping was great – minus the lack of showering, no electricity, sleeping on the ground, unknown animals walking by your tent at night, hearing every noise, spiders, mosquitos, predatory birds, and threats of mountain lions, bears, and snakes – and I would definitely do it again.  Being away from San Francisco and staying in the woods caused everything to slow down.  There were a good four or five times when I looked down at my watch and thought “It’s only been 20 minutes?!  I thought 2 hours had passed.”  Time – like many of the trees – stood still.

Rest is a four-letter word for people who are workaholics or – put simply – those committed to their discipline.  You can talk to anyone that knows me: I work very hard.  I take on a lot of responsibilities and these can easily fill up your free time.  I’ve experienced the highs and lows of being “married to my work.”  Hitting those lows have given me perspective.  I’m always taken aback when people are disappointed when I turn down events, conferences, or speaking engagements.

“It’s a great networking opportunity,” They say. “Imagine the career implications.”

“No. That’s okay.”

“We’ll fully pay your airfare and hotel costs,” They say.

“I’m sorry.  I’m not able to attend.”

What’s his problem? It’s like he doesn’t have any professional or career ambition.  He has to give it his all.  He has to sacrifice.  Doesn’t this guy know what he’s missing out on?

On the contrary, I know exactly what I’ll be missing: time with my wife, watching movies, spending time with friends, having actual vacations… you know, a real life.  If you remain too committed to your work, you’ll get a tagline attached to your name.

Gilbert the computer guy

Gilbert the graphic designer

Gilbert the guy with the camera

Gilbert the guy in preschool

It’s fun to be known as that guy, the person you can rely on.  But I don’t want to walk around everywhere with a tagline.  Every day, before I go to bed, I want to spend time without Guy in Preschool attached to my name.

I heard someone recently share, “We’re always working hard so that we can rest.  That statement is backwards.  We should work from rest, not to rest.”

Working from rest has its benefits.  I just spent the last three days without electricity, being eaten alive by bugs, and gorging on s’mores – and all of this was good rest.  Because of rest, I’m re-energized, refocused and ready to put that tagline back on.

Take some time for yourself.  Trust me.  The work will be there when you come back.

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One thought on “Rest

  1. So, so true! I’m currently on day 7 of a 10 day stay-cation from my ECE job. Although I’ve just been at home, a bad reaction to a bug bite lead me to really, focus on resting, instead of cramming my time with mini-home projects. I commented this morning how much younger my eyes look after so many nights of really good sleep (induced by the multiple prescriptions to help heal from the reaction, unfortunately). I know once Tuesday gets here I’ll be ready to put my work hat and title back on and be back at the desk raring to go!

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