Ah the good ole R&R. People talk about it all the time. But I question how many people truly understand what it means for them.
Now I am a lover of things like Myer Briggs personality test. I know it is not the be all and end all of how you do life, but it certainly helps to understand people, and to understand yourself.
I am INFJ. It one of the rare ones. In simple terms it means I am very introverted.
But I also love people.
But they exhaust me.
So for me, Rest and Recuperation, means shutting out the outside world. Sometimes for days at a time.
Add to this the fact that I have chronic pain.
Add to this the fact that many people have little understanding of any of the above.
And so I found it very difficult to come to a place where I could truly rest and recuperate without feeling guilty.
You see for many of my friends, a holiday means you go somewhere and do as much as possible. You cram activities into every day and night, and you live with that good old catch phrase ‘fear of missing out’ you must see every site, taste every food, buy at every market, swim in every lake/river/ocean etc. and for them, that s fine. If thats the way they holiday then good on them.
But I confess I have to wonder. I see so many people coming back from a holiday completely exhausted, often grumpy, and complaining about all the things they have to catch up on now that they’ve been away for a week.
And I just cant imagine living a life like that.
I dream of course, of what would it be like to have no pain. But I don’t believe that I could live like that even without pain. And dare I say it, I honestly cannot see how it is a good lifestyle choice for so many people. We seem to live in a world where being highly driven is highly valued. The ‘go hard or go home’ attitude is worshiped, we have to ‘be our best’ ‘live to the fullest’. But I say, actually there should be more of the ‘go home’ and that its quite ok to not be doing our best all the time, in fact, sometimes a half hearted attempt at something is ok, sometimes its ok to actually not give a damn. Because sometimes we should let go of things, and just relax, and I don’t meant sit by the pool for an hour, then stress about all things you should have been doing, but tell yourself its ok because you really needed that hour, I mean STOP. Actually Stop, and let go of things.
I have learnt to enjoy my R&R by simply listening to my body and my emotions and following them, without guilt or fear of missing out. ‘Without guilt’ took a long time to come to terms with. I had people in my life who made that one hard. It took me a while to realise, but I had to leave those people behind, and I know I am better off for it.
Sometimes, I look at lifestyles, like the Jews, and many Christian variations, that take the concept of a Sabbath very seriously. Now for the most part, I don’t believe a legalistic, religious lifestyle is right for me, or really, very relevant in todays society, however, the Sabbath idea has elements that I like. A whole day once a week where you cannot do anything. Without guilt. A day where you cannot ‘go hard’ you have to ‘go home’. Where there is no pressure to ‘be your best’ because you are not being anything, you are not expected to ‘live to the fullest’, rather ‘rest the entire day’ and there is nothing to fear you might be missing out on. I think there really is something in this.
So I guess my question to you today, is how do you get your R&R, and does it really work? Does it allow you to fill up your energy tanks, and go into the next task feeling like you are ready, or is it actually leaving you exhausted, full of guilt, or with a longer to do list than before.