The Value of Relaxation

English: A young girl taking a break in a swim...
English: A young girl taking a break in a swimming pool, grabbing on to a rainbow-coloured styrofoam flotation device. Français : Jeune fille s’offrant une pause dans une piscine, s’accrochant à une planche de polystirène expansé aux couleurs de l’arc en ciel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a busy woman.  I’m not bragging about that at all.  I don’t use my busyness to get out of things if I can help it.  I don’t take pride in my busyness.  If anything, I feel ashamed of it sometimes, because I think, “Maybe I can manage my time better.”  But, the fact remains that, between running my business, teaching my girls, chauffeuring them from Point A to Point B, managing the household and coaching soccer, I am very busy.  But not for long.  Those running around days are coming to a close.  The soccer season won’t last forever.  And our Summer Break starts at the end of May.  There will soon be time to breathe.

Given all this busyness, all these responsibilities, all the minutiae of things that need my attention, it is very hard for me to stop to chill.  I have two children who demand that I stop to play with them every so often.  Last week after their swimming lessons, they asked if we could do free swim some.  I said, “Sure.”  OK, in my mind, I was saying, “But I’ve got to type that blog post and take those pictures and get through our academic lessons…”  The “Yes” won out, and we enjoyed an hour-and-a-half or so in the pool together, swimming and playing…  and laughing.  By the time we got home, I was feeling very mellow and relaxed, which set me up for a very productive afternoon.

Last Wednesday, I blew off a small group study on raising better kids to enjoy coffee and smoothies with an acquaintance-turned-friend.  I was looking forward to it with a little trepidation.  Would April and I have enough to discuss to fill the hour-long break we had from motherhood?  Oh yes, plus some!  When the time was coming to a close, neither of us was ready to get back to the demands of motherhood, having enjoyed getting to know one another better and discovering all we have in common.

Last weekend, I took time to liberate myself of all responsibilities.  My best friend and I had planned for me to come for a visit after our soccer games were over.  My heart blossomed as I spent time with his daughter, and he said a few times, “She opened up to you more than she had the whole time she was here!”  We shopped; spent time with his mom, who’s one of my dear friends; went out to a great dinner; attended church (can I get an AMEN for rich spiritual nourishment!); then chilled with Netflix for a while.  We talked and laughed and cut up, and I left feeling completely recharged.  Not once did I check my business email or worry for a second about the batches of soap awaiting production.

Then came yesterday.  So much to do, and only one car between hubby and me (his died last week, so he’s been using mine for work).  Swimming lessons and hair appointments and necessary Easter shoe shopping for the girls and…  A rain day.  That meant he didn’t have to work, so I had the car to get things done.  Unfortunately, the timing never worked out with the girls’ swim teacher, but Hubby worked with the girls on their techniques, our youngest, especially.  I was going to sit and watch, using my phone to catch up on emails, blog posts, and so forth, but at the almost last minute, I grabbed my suit and towel and decided to swim myself.  How wonderful it was taking this opportunity to exercise and play in the pool!  We also managed to get everything else done.

I needed these breaks.  I needed the mental breaks with my girls, new friend, and bestie to play and laugh.  I needed soccer and yesterday’s swimming time to exercise.  I needed to fall asleep on the sofa last night to refresh and rejuvenate my mind and body.  I needed to stop for a while, because it was only in allowing myself to stop that I could once more go full speed ahead with fresh ideas, goals, motivation, and agendas.

What do you do to stop yourself in order to get a fresh start?


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