Why we have weekends…

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My Sheets

Monday morning sunshine

calls me singing from my bed,

a million busy thoughts

fight for attention in my head,

the daunting tasks at hand

grow into mountains in my sight

but my sheets are gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

The week is full of battles

folks to lead and lives to save,

Goliaths gang up on

my inner David forcing brave.

The thought that fortifies as I

face down the righteous fight

is my sheets are gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

As Wednesday grows more bloody

and defeat feels very near,

the arguments grow louder

with defense and craven fear.

To just make it to sundown I

turn my cheek against my plight

for my sheets are gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

The tide begins to turn

as solutions bubble up,

energy swims to surface

as I drain my coffee cup.

I focus on the goal

with eyes squinting all my might

at my sheets of gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

Finally the week is ended

and war melts down with the sun.

Kicking back my soul reflects

upon the battles God has won.

Grace rains down in drops of beauty,

my heart rests and dreams take flight

in my sheets of gentle satin

and my pillows feather-light.

REST

Isn't this just the image of an ideal resting spot? © Brent Mclennon

It is a fact that we often mistake for a baseless opinion and shelve behind the important things we need to do.  Like run a company, write a book, meet so-and-so for drinks so she can cry on your shoulder about her recent breakup, classes that we Single Women like to fill our time with on the premise of “self-improvement”.

There is no good excuse for running oneself into the ground.  Yet we find them and invent them and sell them as though they would gain us commission.  Why?

I’m sure the answer for every Single Woman is different in the details but it usually boils down to fear.  The fear of losing momentum, the fear of missing something, the fear of silence, of aloneness.  Pick one or mix them up, but fear wraps its frozen claws around us subtly at the thought of what our thoughts will say if we gave them the silence in which to speak.

SINGLE WOMAN LOVE THYSELF!

Your SELF is your own precious Ferrari, given to you and designed by God.  Let your thoughts speak.  Trust the good at the core of your gift to temper your quiet conversation.  Take a day, a few afternoons a week, and sit in your own company at rest with your Self.  It is a very important relationship to maintain, this relationship with ones Self.  It will determine how you live, how fulfilled you will be and the direction in which you will go.  How can you have your dreams come true if you can’t take the time to actually find out what they are?

In Eat. Pray. Love., Liz describes the first time she actually meditated.  It excited her beyond her expectations and she has made meditation a daily practice in her life.  Sure, her New Age beliefs are not for everyone but the concept remains the same.  Spend some time letting the quietest of your thoughts do the talking and perhaps you too will discover profound truths within yourself.

It is no secret that regular and quality rest can add years to your life.  Sleep studies and stress tests are increasingly coming upon new information on the benefits of rest and the damage that the lack of it can do to your health.  Many of today’s most common diseases are stress triggered and avoidable.  Certainly we aren’t aiming for a quick race to the grave, are we ladies!

But what is rest?  The opposite of labour is the idea given by Jesus (“Come unto me all ye that labour and I will give thee rest”).

rest

noun

1.  the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep: a good night’s rest.
2.  refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor: to allow an hour for rest
3.  relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs.
4.  a period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquillity: to go away for a rest.
5.  mental or spiritual calm; tranquillity.
In all of these there is a quieting of the mind and a gentle run of thought akin to the flipping of magazine pages and looking at the pictures (contrary to closely examining the text of a volume of the US tax code).  Eight hours of sleep is not your only option.  I find rest in many places like the chaise side of my sofa with a blanket over my legs, a cup of tea on the table, and a sleeping dog on either side.  I find rest in the hammock on my back porch with a good book.  In yoga, in meditation, in a boat ride, tanning by the pool, walking the dogs.  I find rest in long drives and beach walks.
Today I invite you to think about what rest looks like to you.  And embrace it!

VACATION

There is a common characteristic in the Single Woman demographic – we like to play hero.  We work hard, we play hard, we short ourselves of sleep, we have a hard time telling the boss “No I’m not able to work this fifth consecutive weekend SIR” and many of us get to December only to realize that ooops, we forgot to take our vacation.

In the twisted corporate culture fuelled by billable hours and mercenary competitiveness, this form of self-harm has been turned into a virtue.

Ladies.  It is not.  Take your vacation.

VACATION:

1: a respite or a time of respite from something : intermission
2a: a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended b: a period of exemption from work granted to an employee
3: a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation <had a restful vacation at the beach>
4: an act or an instance of vacating
 Merriam Webster Dictionary (online)
A friend of mine is an accountant who works some twelve hours a day on a normal week day with frequent appearances at the office on weekends.  At the same time as studying for a professional qualification.  A brilliant woman, she never failed an exam in her life until the plate just got too full.  And it dawned on her – “Bushy, if I were to die tomorrow I would not have lived, I would have only worked!”
We shouldn’t be living to work!  Work should be a tool we use to live well.  The vacation is the reward, that moment of living well when we can simply enjoy the fruit of our labour.  It is a time of being supported by labour laws and contracts.  Guilt has no place in here.
Mind you, the vacation is not only a break from work.  There are other things we need vacation from – a vacation from studies, a vacation from relationships, a vacation from church (Yes.  I said it.), a vacation from clubs, a vacation from obligations.  And then, every once in a while, we need a vacation from our ENTIRE LIFE.
This happens to me at least once a year.  I need out of my house, away from my dogs, far from my friends, apart from my family.  I need to eat things I’ve never eaten, meet people I’ve never seen before, immerse myself in an environment totally foreign to me.  A vacation from my life.
Usually by the end of such a radical departure from my reality I am happy to return to it, refreshed and rejuvenated.  On vacations from my life I have learned some of the most profound truths about myself and stumbled upon the most life-changing ideas and discoveries.  From such life vacations I return to my world, my routine and my loved ones with something new to give, someone better to be.
To my Lady, do not neglect your self.  Bosses will come and bosses will go but She is the only thing you are guaranteed to have every day of your life for the rest of your life.  Your wellbeing depends on your provision for her, your attention to her, and your giving her the rest she needs.
TAKE. YOUR. VACATION.