My life has been in a frenetic roll for about a year now. This time last year I rolled right through the summer, a big move, and my internship into the school year without much pause or a change of pace.
Obviously, there was no keeping that up. I did try to get a restful day in now and again but I was still doing too much. Unfortunately, Christmas break wasn't much help. I didn't get much distance or recharging done in that short time. My mind was still trapped in lengthy to do's and to be lists that, even then I knew, were insurmountable.
In many ways I stumbled into 2017.
Healthy pacing is not my strong suit and never has been. Reasonably, I crashed this Spring. I crashed hard. I knew that I needed some distance from NYC, my family, and my school. I needed a different rhythm from home. So, I applied to a lot of internships as far from New York as it gets - California.
God was incredibly gracious and faithful and placed me in the amazing care of the Praxis Future Founders program. I love that when I ask God for something He turns around is like, "I can do so much better!"
Many of the speakers and spiritual practices we've shared this summer have explained and demonstrated an emphasis on rest and a disciplined approach to rest that I had not known before. It wasn't really until July 1st came around and I did an honest mid-year assessment that I got honest with myself.
I'm doing a terrible job of practicing this.
After an amazing weekend with an old friend, I realized just how easy it can be to rest and recharge. I've been giving myself a few moments every day to separate what I need to do daily and the stuff I crowd my day with that doesn't actually matter. I thought getting out of town would be enough to get my mind out of my chronic busy state, but really, I just piled on more stuff in a new place.
Sitting down, writing out my plans, and doing some honest thinking helped me realize that the pressure to do a lot of stuff and when it needed to be done was completely self-afflicted. When all that pressure builds up it makes it hard to figure out what needs to get done and how it fits in.
I found that I really go care about experiences, but they mean much more when I share them with people. That sometimes the "extra" things that are not a time sensitive priority help me recharge and should be something I prioritize. Mostly, I'm finding this is not easy and it doesn't happen overnight.
Have you gotten around to your mid-year reflection? If not, here are some questions I asked myself that got me moving in the right direction.
What were your resolutions for this year?
Have you started them? Did you forget any?
Make it a point to choose one personal and one professional goal from January that you'll commit to for the rest of the year.
What doesn't need to be a goal?
Did you stack the odds against yourself and bite off more than you can chew?
Give yourself the freedom of saying "This doesn't have to happen right now."
Who or What Have I Left Out?
This is a tough one. Were there people or places that you intended to engage with this year? How are they doing? Ask yourself whether you've let important relationships and communities slip through.
What is one step I can take this week?
Come up with an action step for each day this week or once a week that will get you closer to one of your top goals.