If there was anything we learned this past year, it was that life can stop on a moment’s notice. Many of us shifted from busyness to a state of stagnation. Lockdown may have been a period of rest or it may have been a time of anxiety and angst. I’m pretty sure the majority of us experienced one or the other. And if you were fortunate to find rest during that season, good for you! I truly feel that the pandemic allowed us in some ways to purge our calendars and realign our priorities and find the rest that so many of us needed, but unwilling to take.
This past week, both of my kids came down with the typical seasonal colds. Runny nose, low- grade fever and just not feeling the best. But of course, since Covid and the common cold resemble each other, we had to hunker down and wait for a negative Covid test. So I naturally gathered my things, and prepared to work from home while taking care of my littles. I knew that their sickness was a “cue” for me to rest alongside them. But even though my circumstances were giving me permission to rest, I could not comply. In fact, I felt completely torn between rest and productivity. On one hand I just wanted to tune into Disney Plus, snuggled under some plush blankets with my boys and nurture them back to health. But on the other hand, I wanted to be back at work with my team and make sure everything on the backend was completed properly. I tried to balance working from home but also “resting” with my kids, but I failed miserably. And in the end, I found myself frazzled, tired and overthinking each and every moment spent, wondering if I had spent it wisely.
How many times do we fight the ebbs and flows of life pushing harder and harder leading us to a state of exhaustion and anxiousness? We treat every season like it’s time to harvest, when it may just be a time for rest. I think our American culture has instilled this in us ( #hustle) , and don’t get me wrong, hard work and ingenuity is something never to be frowned upon.
But, did you know that rest is also a form of productivity? Adequate rest yields itself for preparedness for future tasks. Rest also allows us to create space for vision and creativity. I could could go on and on with all the befits of rest, but I do believe that we have all fallen into ( including myself) this lie that we are simply unproductive when we rest!
In our company we experience signs of rest: when the ground freezes and there is no snow yet in the forecast , we take nature’s cue and get down to planning and preparation. We listen to podcasts, take a few training seminars, and equip our leaders with the tools they need in order to lead a crew well. We have employee reviews and team pizza parties. We source out our salt and sand, take inventory of our supplies and ready our equipment for action. We also take a few days off here and there to catch up on some much needed rest from the hustle and urgency of snow removal. There is no shame in this rest, because we recognize the amount of mental and physical strength that winter and summer require of us. We also know that proper rest directly impacts our success as a company. If we did not have adequate rest,our company culture would suffer, our sales would dwindle, and our customer service would be unacceptable.
In our own lives, we need to recognize the seasons of rest that are sometimes forced upon us and take advantage of them! After all, next month might have us on our toes and spare us little time for ourselves. And just remember, if you can’t seem to find time to rest, perhaps you need to delegate or even hire Summit Solutions to take care of a few items on your to-do lit...just saying! :) Anyways, we wish you the best rest possible!