Grow, Rest, Repeat
I have not posted in two weeks because I was busy preparing a presentation for a conference, then I went on vacation for much needed R&R. While I was sitting on the beach relaxing, it occured to me that I really needed the rest! I had just been pushing myself and realized I had made gains in a few areas of my life and was happy about the personal growth I had just experienced.
If you would have asked me when I was 15 years old if I would still be growing when I was almost 58 years of age, I would have laughed at you. I was recently on vacation did nothing but resting relax and spend time with loved ones. It's times like this that I can reconnect with my own 15-year-old self. I think of that boy as somebody who loved to spend time at the beach, laugh with friends and learn. Today I am no different.
I gave that presentation at a conference a few days ago. When I was 15, the thought of doing that would have filled me with terror. I would have dreaded the amount of work it takes put all the information together into a presentation and all of the courage I would have had to have summoned up in order to speak in front of people. Back then I would have thought that no amount of preparation would ever make me get rid of that fear. I was wrong. The whole process from start to finish is fun and exciting. As they say, life is what you make it. I have always liked to have fun. I always love to be around friends and loved ones like all of us. But too much fun and excitement are probably not that great either. It felt really good to be sitting on the beach each morning 10 ft from the ocean. The sound of the waves was like the sweetest music. In my opinion there is not a single drug that could make me feel as good. What kept coming around in my mind is that unless I get appropriate rest when I need it, I will not be able to continue to grow.
Nobody can endlessly expand energy without resting and healing. The pattern of my life is grow, rest and repeat. The frequency can vary widely. For instance, I like to work hard each day and sleep soundly each night. During the busy day, a 3-minute lull feels like a little mini vacation if handled properly. And then of course there are vacations which can be magical. I think all three of those examples are very important, and it's up to me to strike the balance. If I don’t, I will suffer. We all need to heal. If you think about it, all of the gains that you make when you work out come when you are resting. It is never too late to grow, whether it is physically, mentally, or spiritually.
I have a good friend right now that is dying of incurable cancer. I speak with him regularly and he is still growing as a person, even though he is dying. He has taken his new challenge and learned how to deal with end-of-life issues with grace, poise and bravery. He has taught me a valuable lesson, even in his current state. What I have learned from him is that you can always grow. You should never feel like a victim, or feel sorry for yourself, and you can always make the world a better place, no matter how bad things seem. He did not lecture me about any of these things that I'm telling you about right now. He is simply leading by example.
It is an effort to push yourself to grow. The rewards are usually worth it. Even in failure you learn. As they say, hard today, easy tomorrow. If you have pushed yourself a bit hard lately, go ahead and rest and refill the tank so you can do it again.