Why is it so hard to say, “I’m tired, and I need some rest?” It seems to be one of the hardest things in the world to say out loud. Why? The past few months have been especially strenuous for me, as I have been juggling (terribly) two full-time jobs, my business and creative work, with a full-time job. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I need my sleep. I need at least 7-9 hours of sleep. But I was finding myself exhausted during the days even after sleeping for ten hours at night.
It wasn’t an exhaustion that could be slept away. I realized a few days ago, that I have been pushing myself so hard over the past few months that I think I am at that stage where I have to give something up. Thankfully, something came up that forced me to quit my full-time job.
As always, the universe is much, much smarter than me. It knew that I wouldn’t quit my creative or business work, unless I was dead. And it knew that being a perfectionist, and having this insane urge to do my best with everything, I wouldn’t quit my full-time job either. It knew that I would die before quitting. And all in all, I believe it would have killed me, if the intervention from the universe hadn’t come in time. Or at least injured me.
Everything In Nature Takes The Time To Pause Appropriately
Every human seems to know the importance of rest. Good rest. Not poor quality rest. We seem to intellectually know that it’s important, but we don’t actually take advantage of it.
A few days ago, I was watching one of the neighbourhood cats lounging about, sleeping on a couch, peacefully, undisturbed by the humans milling about, doing their thing. And I actually got jealous of him, because he was able to sleep so well! That’s when I knew I was in a little bit of trouble. Getting jealous of cats because they are sleeping is really a low point in any human’s life.
Jokes aside, everything in nature knows how to take the appropriate amount of rest at the appropriate time. Trees don’t push themselves to grow faster, or get more sunshine. Flowers don’t try to bloom before their time. Even the industrious ants know that there is a time for work and a time for rest.
But humans don’t know how to switch. Especially in this world right now. Where anyone who is resting or relaxing is considered to be a fool of the umpteenth degree.
Even I, who knows the importance of rest, and who knows how hard it is to relax in this world, have had moments where I have judged people for being too relaxed.
The Pause Is As Important As The Note
I read this statement somewhere a while back, and it really stayed with me for a while. If you listen to music, and if you are human, you probably do, you cannot have music without the pause. In fact, the pauses in between the notes are as important as the notes. Can you imagine a band that never stopped playing a note? They would sound odd, that wouldn’t be music, it would just be noise.
I thought it was so beautiful, because human beings are the same. If I could only remember and apply this in my own life, I would be much better off. The pause, the rest, the time-off, is as important as the work that we do.
Sometimes, all the time, I tend to give my work so much importance, and my rest, no importance at all. In fact, there’s this voice that starts piping up inside of me that says that, “I’m a lazy-so-and-so,” if I start taking a second or two of pause. It’s a disease, I tell you. It’s horrendous. No one should use the words I use against myself when I need rest or I take rest, those rare occasions.
I wish it weren’t the case that I have to fall violently ill or burnout, in order to take time off. I wish I was savvy enough to realize that every single day requires not only good-quality sleep in order to recharge, but also, time away from work, a good chunk of time away from work, in order to recuperate.
This post isn’t just a reminder for y’all to take some damn rest when needed, but more so for me, to remind myself that rest is important, and this time off from work is a better cure for me than anything else could be.