As a runner I usually love the halfway mark. Halfway is the beginning of the end. It’s a moment for me reflect on the miles behind me and gear up for the miles before me. No other mile quite feels like halfway because of its power to anchor you in the present moment. It’s too soon to visualize the end of the race and too late to regret the miles before. It’s a racing sweet spot.
Why is it then that I don’t feel this way about being halfway through the year, and halfway to my 29th birthday? Right now, it does not feel too late to regret the past 6 months as being inefficient uses of time or too soon to panic the end is coming faster than I intended it to. I should be patting myself on the back for a great 6 months and should be reassessing my goals. But I’m having a hard time doing both of these things sincerely.
It would be so much easier to wallow in a pool of regret and fear. It’s not a fun place or a good place to be, but it’s the easiest place to be. Regret of the past and fear of the future keep us out of the present moment which is where real change and growth happen. Being awake in the present moment is never easy but is something to strive for. Being present makes the days seem longer, the weeks richer, the months fulfilled, and the halfway mark buoyant with memories and work completed.
Part of being present is resting. If you are as busy as I am, and I think it’s hard to find anyone these days who is not constantly pressed for time, we all need to take some time to do absolutely nothing but reflect. Meditate, keep a journal, or even just sit and watch the sun set with no distraction. It sounds insane but I’ve started to schedule “nothing” into my weekly planner. If I don’t, I will skip right over the most important part of my day– rest.
I knew it was time to start taking rest seriously last month when I suffered an incredibly painful and actually very scary break out, along with an equally scary eye twitch. I was stressed out and didn’t even know it! I had been internalizing everything and pretending I was fine to the point that my body eventually just rebelled. “Take a rest!” It was yelling. I have to listen and pay attention to the signs that I am doing too much.
I need time to turn my brain off and reflect on life, not to let my fears, hopes, dreams, and challenges swirl around inside of me before they find other ways out. I often make the mistake of thinking “me time” is cleaning the apartment, organizing my closet, training my dog, and making even more to do lists. The problem with this process is of course that NONE of those things are “me time”. Not a one.
I think if we all start taking rest a little bit more seriously and schedule in the time to be alone and unwind, even if it’s just ten minutes a week to start, that we’ll find ourselves to be much happier, much more balanced, and even more productive. That is my hope because we all deserve it more than we think.