Sabbath What? The Inadequacy of Rest

Yes, that is a giant lobster over my shoulder!

However, even with that encouraging crustacean imploring me to 'Come on along', I have come to realize that I am not a very good “rester”. As I began writing this I was heading off on a marvellous holiday. My wife is going to be at a conference for a few days and then we are going to enjoy England for a few days more followed by a week in Barcelona, Spain.

You'd think that would be a stress reducer, but it's been anything but. More annoyingly, I couldn't really put a finger on what is causing the stress. I have a great team I work with who are completely covering my activities while I'm gone. I've been preparing for a month so all the things 'only I can do' are covered off. I'm ready. So why do I feel so remarkably not ready?

Through the course of these days away I've realized just how much of my internally perceived 'value' has been based on my doing-ness. That leads to a reluctance to not do! Which obviously means that rest is mostly out of the question. And not only out of the question, but vaguely bad or wrong as well. However, I'm slowly realizing how tiring the endless 24-7-365 routine is.

What I hadn't realized, until I was almost 10 days into my holiday away, was how much I'd grown to feel the constant drag was normal.

  • Isn't everyone just a little tired all the time?
  • There are people who don't check their phone before they're out of bed in the morning?
  • An empty InBox must mean the mail server is down!
  • A problem is actually the start of the next adrenalin rush!

Probably not typical, but it's kind of the “does a fish know it's wet” problem. Unless you are away from the environment where constant movement is normal, it's hard to recognize the oddity of it.

Happily, I rediscovered a great book that I'd read casually several years ago, nodded “so true” and carried on unchanged. That book is called “The Power of Full Engagement.” The basic premise of the book can be summed up by one line:

The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not.

In re-reading it, at a very different place personally, physically and spiritually, I've been struck by how exactly it describes my various malaise driven ailments. Energy is the issue, not hours. Everyone has the same 24, yet some people seem to get incredible amounts accomplished, while others less so.

I'm still incorporating the concepts into my world view, but I'm sure there will be more about this topic in the next weeks.


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