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Last week I said yes over and over again to mounting commitments, when I should have said no. I feel lazy for napping as my daughter does so I work instead. My body aches for the restorative power of sleep, yet I resist relentlessly.
All of this has me wondering if you and I have convinced ourselves (especially Mamas) that rest is the new luxury?
Why Can’t We Rest?
Why do we work ourselves into frenzies, desperate to placate others, running marathons for fleeting acceptance and pats on the back? Hashtags like #TeamNoSleep, #Hustle and #MomBoss fill our social media timelines. No one wants to become a slacker, and admit fatigue plagues them.
Nearly all of my close girlfriends carry exhaustion like shawls, rest barely attainable in the chaotic world of non-stop productivity. Some day, we wistfully say, “we’ll sleep,” but there is always more – an endless barrage of family and career obligations, another email to send (I am the queen of that line) or phone calls and meetings. It NEVER stops. EVER. These dizzying to-do-lists squelch opportunities to live fully present.
According to an article in Forbes magazine which cited a study on multitasking, our brains can only handle so much information:
“Recent research shows that not only does multitasking not save time, it actually hinders your ability to operate efficiently. Chief among the evidence, a study from Stanford University revealed that the brains of people who regularly attempt to do multiple tech-oriented tasks at once–such as e-mailing, IM-ing, watching TV and browsing the Internet–pay a high price…”
Before we know it, the day is done and we remain as disconnected from rejuvenation as when it began.
Doing Less, but Doing it Well…
What if we hit our collective reset buttons and committed to doing less while embracing excellence? I listened to Bishop T.D. Jakes discuss the “power of focus” recently, and was struck by the simple and profound concept he put forth: not a mastery of multitasking, but the art of laser focusing on your purpose.
Our purpose is not merely what we do, it is the force which propels us forward and imbues our life with meaning. It’s why we are on the planet. Essentially it is our offering to the world. If you and I allow the exhaustion of juggle and noise to deplete it, we can help no one, least of all ourselves.
Let’s all slow down, and stop making rest a luxury.