It is easy in modern life to get over-whelmed. Before you know it, and without much appearing to have happened in the way of conscious thought or decision making, you find yourself juggling many things, spinning far too many plates not to drop one.
I tend not to notice the subtle signs that rest is needed. I am a Power On Through type of girl, impatient with mortal frailties. A Coper. The end result is that, sometimes, I can topple over into exhaustion.
This is OK (ish) when you have no other responsibilities than yourself and a week or two off can be spent sleeping/ watching TV/ going for walks/ reading/ getting up late, and at the end of it back up you pop, all restored, refreshed, recharged and raring to go.
It is less straightforward when you're a busy wife and mother and have other people depending on you. Then, that kind of rest necessitates other people shifting the smooth flow of their lives around to accommodate you, which, however kindly they do this, doesn't seem very fair on them.
Anyway, over the past couple of weeks I have revisited the lesson that has been raised more than once in the past twelve months, a lesson I thought I was adhering to but apparently not enough, that rest is an important element of capacity and that limits are there to be honoured and respected. I had little choice in the matter as it turned out, which perhaps was just as well. I've got it now, the lesson. I am reorganising life. I have stopped my degree and I am returning to previously well-trodden paths that enable activity minus the stretched-out thin exhaustion brought on by juggling too many things at once. I find that I am starting to see things clearly again, breathing calmly in and out now that the mist is clearing.
I was directed a while ago to a book about England's ancient roads, and when I started reading it I wondered why I found myself writing down a quote from it on the inside of the front cover:
"There is nothing like a walk for making you accept an obvious solution, no matter how challenging it might be."
The words rolled about my head and echoed and I kept returning to stare at the quote, trying to figure why it, more than anything else, kept connecting. Eventually I worked out what it was telling me and what I needed to do.
So, a reorganisation. Time to breath and think and quietly formulate gentle plans and simple directions. Already I feel better; already I can see the path ahead; an uncomplicated path, a simple, rustic, wooden and unfussy path that was there all along, running quietly through woods and trees, fields and rivers, with the wind whispering peace beside it.
How about you?