Over the weekend a cloud descended on my head. That progressed to the maddening alternating stuffy nose-runny nose. My energy was syphoned from my body and in it’s place came aches and stiffness.
The trees are in bloom and my allergies are raging. This is a special little gift that Mother Nature gives me to celebrate the beginning of my favorite season–Spring. I try to look at it as a small price to pay for the beauty and vitality that bursts forth this time of year, but I’m 4 days in and I’m over it.
The first couple of days I took it easy, caught up on some movies and snuggled with my man. I used the morning hours to get the necessary chores done, and it’s a good thing because by mid-day I was drained. Monday rolled around and I was up and at ’em, like any other Monday. I rolled on some essential oils to open up my nasal passages, got dressed to go for a jog, and settled in to my morning routine. Very quickly I realized this was not going to be a typical Monday. It was as if I were a tire with a small air leak that continued to get bigger and bigger each day, and on this day I was depleted.
I pride myself in staying healthy. I am the one who stays strong when illnesses run through the house. I make the soup. I run the baths. I am the base in the snuggle pile. I don’t know how to do this “sick thing.”
As I lay in my bed with a buzzing head after finally resigning to a dose of Benedryl (while looking at a simply gorgeous day through my window, I might add), I had to ask what the lesson was in all of this. Some might say, “You just have allergies–there doesn’t have to be a lesson!”
I see every experience we have as humans as an opportunity to grow. Our lives are rich in experiences each and every day, but that in itself sometimes prohibits our ability to see the learning.
We are so busy and move at such a pace that to pause and contemplate the impact of an exchange with someone at the store, the feeling of losing a tennis match, the deeper meaning of your response to that hurtful message on your phone seems oddly a luxury.
I have been vehemently focused on my business while maintaining my steadfast commitment to being present for my family. The first couple months of the year have been very intentional, conscious actions in support of purposeful goals. It only took a couple hours on the couch for me to start to get antsy. My carefully calculated timeline was ticking away–
I didn’t have time for this!
There are deadlines and commitments, plus I WANT to work on my website, I love the creation and strategy I collaborate with every day! It’s beyond frustrating to read the same paragraph over and over again because all information needs to pass through a sticky, sluggish haze to get through. I backed out of chaperoning a class trip with my son, an opportunity that doesn’t come along very much in middle school. I just cranked through kleenex, dozed here and there, and listened to some podcasts.
The only thing that helps is rest. Pushing through just doesn’t work. And wait a minute–I don’t believe in pushing through! This is what I coach my clients on, this is how I raise my kids!
When your body is telling you to slow down, ramping up the energy to barrel through is counter-intuitive.
Imagine your car is overheating. The gage is on hot and you start to see a little smoke come from under the hood. The service station is just up the road. You can gun it, and risk doing damage to your car, and flooding your own system with stress hormones while you’re at it. Or you can pull over for a couple minutes and let it cool off before gently making your way to the station with your hazards on.
Rest is okay. Pulling over and taking a break is better on your engine–all of your engines. In the grand tapestry of life, or this year, or this month’s goals…
taking the time required to nurture my body rather than force it to burn out is well worth it. It’s the kind thing to do.
This is my lesson. Yes, I could see it as just allergies. But I can also see that my body is telling me that it recognizes all that I do and pulling over to cool off once in a while is required for the longevity of the system. It’s the safest and less stressful way to reach my destination.
Can you think of a time when you were tempted to push through during times of struggle? How did it turn out for you? Share your experience in the comments below! And if you have someone close to you who you know could benefit from slowing down and restoring, please share this!