Resting While You Work

I don't know about you but I've got a number of balls in the air. I can juggle a bit, but I'm not great at it, and I also have a limited amount of energy so I need to be judicious with how I dole it out. Which means, this fall is an excellent experiment in how to rest while you work.

I've been playing with this idea for years now, after a lifetime of fighting for most of what I've accomplished, and realizing that m.o. was now bringing diminished returns. My most recent take away... reframing the idea as less of a "battle" and more of a collaboration.

When you collaborate, you don't get everything done exactly how you expected, but you do get something new and most times better, and always more interesting than if you had pushed your ideas forward alone. It's a delicate balance negotiating with fatigue, brain fog, and even pain. I give them what they require - acknowledgement, respect, and frequent short rests. I also push them a bit, gently testing the limits. Knowing when to stop is the biggest challenge.

Resting before you think you need to requires a keen sense of inner listening. I am driving more now that school is back in person, and I ask myself questions as I sit. How hard do I need to hold the steering wheel after all? Can I adjust my legs for more comfort? The mirrors? The seat? I also do this when I am standing, teaching in front of a room or waiting for a cashier at the grocery. I look for places in my body to rest. My jaw, shoulders, arms. How am I arranged over my feet? Can I find more support from my bones vs. my muscles. When I'm working from home, 10 minutes laying down on the floor can extend my productivity by hours.

Sometimes I forget to check in and listen, and I get knocked back a bit, needing to take a day or 2 off. But when I get it right, I can find a few minutes here, and hour there, to rest, recharge and continue. Folks don't even notice I am resting. It's my undercover, ongoing collaboration with an immune system that tends to have it's own agenda.