lessons learned: what restless three-year-olds can teach us about slowing down

The sun has set.

I sit and rest my weary body,

and think of you.

Give my body peace.

Let my legs and arms stop aching.

Let my head stop thinking.

Let me sleep in your arms.

~Adapted from a Dinka prayer, Sudan

This week, my daughter has been away at camp, and I have used the extra time in the evenings to complete some tasks that require extensive time and energy.  I hobble up the front steps every evening, peel off my gloves and old tennis shoes by the door, and start a hot bath.  My sister and I laughed yesterday about how much we could accomplish in our 20s but seem to move at half that pace now.  So I will profess that after evenings of building fences and laying hardware fabric, I am just plain tired.

It is the fatigue of a three-year-old who runs around all day without a nap then tries to fall asleep at night but is too tired wind down.  Those of us with children know how that turns out the next day, and it’s not pretty.

So here I am.

One skill I am constantly working on is learning how to pace myself.  After two surgeries for cancer, I became quite good at it, but every now and again, I slip up and go-go-go too much-much-much.

Slowing down requires intention.  Without rest for our bodies, our minds and spirits become tired and restless like the three-year-old, and then we’re not good for anything.  Plus, who’s going to excuse a 40-something from work to go home and take a nap?

Tonight, the chicken run will sit unfinished and Mason jars will just have to wait their turn.  Tonight, my only project is rest.



One Comment on “lessons learned: what restless three-year-olds can teach us about slowing down

  1. Well said, Cameron. A good reminder for us all. I hope you had a restful evening. If you find yourself at the farmers’ market this weekend, and happen to run across Mr. Arrowood, please pass along my best regards.

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