Gratitude 2020 – Countdown to Thanksgiving

I took a couple days off from posting. Not from writing down my gratitude lists, but from declaring them publicly. I needed to rest. So rest I did.

I’m not usually the type of person to give myself permission to rest. I’ve been feirly busy since I was a teen in high school with a couple of jobs, extracrricular activity, you name it. Then later, full time schooling, jobs, activities.

Starting a family added to the busy. Still I managed to go to work, have kids, get a secondary degree. I never felt like I could rest, even when I wanted to.

Not too long ago, I had a job that ratcheted up the imbalance of obligation and work to never before seen heights. In part, the imbalance was set by trauma. More than six catastrophic events, at least that’s what the post-critical-incident debriefing therapist told me, had occurred in approximately six months.

I could feel every one of those events, ringing in my bones like the thrum of a singing bowl. Or the scrape of nails on blackboards. If you know what a blackboard is, you’re of a certain age. Mature, like me.

After leaving the super catastrophic situation I was in, I found I no longer wanted to burn for work, for obligation, for anything that wasn’t in line with a higher vision for me. And so I took a good hard look at what mattered.

Then the pandemic made me take many more moments to consider what matters.

The bottom line is this: rest is essential.

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

We can work hard and drive at a target. That’s commendable. But we may burn out. Burn up. Land face down in the dirt. And it’s hard to get up when you’ve turned yourself into a twitching, irritable individual who trusts no one.

But taking rest when needed is not a bad thing. It’s actually a very good thing. Rest. If that means sleeping, or lounging, or just putting a few strong goals aside until your energy is up again.

It’s like running and walking. If you alternate, you last longer. You can go miles with intervals, when you may not be able to go very far at all on a sprint.

Meanwhile, my gratitude is for those who have helped me learn how to, remember how to, and feel ok with taking time to rest.

I’m grateful for the lesson. Thankful that I “got it” after all these years.

It’s never too late to learn something new.

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