Clocking out and checking up
Tonight I crawled into a hot bath loaded with epsom salts and lavender oil and submerged until the tired in my bones drifted away and relaxed eased in to take its place. I thought of doing this last night, but as the time became later I decided I’d rather just go to bed, and this night owl found herself wandering into the bedroom before 11pm, ready to call it a night and crash.
This almost never happens.
Unlike the rest of me, my body is far more willing to make some noise when it needs rest. It gets tired. It gets sleepy at times it shouldn’t be sleeping. It aches. It stops giving the brain enough fuel to make coherent sentences. It trips over invisible lines in the sidewalk as my coordination goes south.
Nothing is really wrong. I’m just tired, and I’m starting to write checks my body isn’t physically able to cash. It’s not a difficult fix.
Unless my mind gets all bossy and tries to take over.
“Just one more thing…”
“Don’t be crybaby. Others are doing more than you are.”
“You need to finish ______ before you take a break.”
“People are counting on you. Don’t let them down.”
“Don’t be a quitter.”
Yeah…my mind can be very bossy, and it doesn’t always remember to extend the mercy to me that it extends to others. I am reluctant to ask others to do things I’m not willing to do, and if I’m willing to do them, then why am I not doing them? People are busy, for pete’s sake.
It becomes a cycle. It’s not a very fruitful cycle.
As long as we’re in these earth suits, we will remain triune beings. We’re body, soul, and spirit. We are made of finite parts intricately woven into the infinite. We need rest, we need fuel, we need stimulation, we need communication, we need relationship—every part of us.
God places things in our dominion. Things to care for, things to nurture. The top thing on that list is our own selves. It can feel selfish to care for ourselves, but it’s not. If we can’t manage our own body, soul, and spirit, we’re going to have a really challenging time stewarding the things He gives us outside our little bubble. And we’ll probably try to use those things outside our bubble to fix the deficiencies we permit inside our bubble.
It’s a recipe for idolatry.
It rarely occurs to us that avoiding idolatry can look like:
taking a nap…
eating some veggies…
drinking enough water…
wearing properly fitting clothes…
going for a walk…
or listening to some music.
In an attempt to be spiritual, we can easily fall prey to making things far too complicated. There’s no need to over-spiritualize it.
When you’re tired, practice rest. Practice rest until you become an expert.
This is why I’m a professional napper. It’s part of practicing rest.
That is my story and I’m sticking to it.