Rest now

Jeff takes a rare nap on the beach in Grenada, March 2010.

Jeff takes a rare nap on the beach in Grenada, March 2010.

“…rest now. Rest for longer than you are used to resting. Make a stillness around you, a field of peace. Your best work, the best time of your life will grow out of this peace.”
Peter Heller

Jeff is really good about prioritizing sleep, but he doesn’t seem to enjoy resting.  I sometimes joke that if there is no work to do, he will make some.  One of the things I miss most about being able to go on vacations is that it usually forces him to rest a little more than usual.  Just a little, though.  I’ll happily spend an entire day lounging on the beach, but his limit is about an hour.

I think most of us feel a bit guilty about resting, as if it is unproductive time.  But I agree with Heller.  Rest recharges our batteries, helping us work better and smarter, with more energy.

If you have a lot to do, it may seem counter-intuitive, but perhaps you need to schedule some rest breaks into your day.  Take a power nap or just close your eyes and zone out for a few minutes.  And work on carving out an entire afternoon or even a whole day to give yourself time to do nothing at all.  Chances are, you will accomplish just as much — and  maybe more — than if you stayed on high alert for hours on end.

One year ago today:

When action grows unprofitable



  1. Good morning, Julia. nice photo!
    I enjoy reading…but only if the bed is made, kitchen cleaned, laundry done… 🙂 I’m one of those always busy…but I’ve learned to schedule some rest time after lunch. 🙂

    • Hey Merry, want to move in with me? 😀 Seriously, I kid about being lazy, but truthfully I can’t REALLY enjoy reading if the beds are unmade and dishes are in the sink. On the other hand, Jeff took over the laundry from me years ago because he can’t stand to let it pile up for more than 2-3 days and he just didn’t think I did it frequently enough. I’m not nearly the worker that Jeff is, but that bed has to be made first thing or it drives me crazy. Afternoons are my sleepy time, so that’s a great time to schedule a break, though I don’t do it as often as I should. Hope you have a lovely day today! It’s not as cool here as it was yesterday, but still not hot, so I’m hoping for more gorgeous September weather.

  2. HarryS

    I am as young as I will ever be and I am older than I have ever been so what is the best choice for me today.

    My Master gently advises me that is set before me blessings and curses, life and death and has given me free will to make the wisest most beneficial choices for the well-being of all and then softly, ever so softly wants me to choose life.
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Harry, choosing life is definitely the way to go, and there are many ways to do that in addition to the obvious ones. I love the verse you cite, and also the one where Jesus tells us that he came so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Contrary to what the prosperity-gospel proponents might say, I don’t think he was talking about material wealth. I find that asking him to open my eyes to my blessings ALWAYS results in deeper joy no matter what else is going on.

  3. Virginia Duran

    I am in favor of napping! 1h nap makes 3h of super productivity 🙂

    • Virginia, I think that sounds like a great plan. As I get older, I may have to adopt that formula daily. Perhaps I would be happier with getting up early in the morning, if I promised myself an afternoon nap! 😀 The super productivity would be icing on the cake. Thanks for a great suggestion!

      • Virginia Duran

        After lunch try taking a 45-60 min nap, it helps the digestion process and recharges your energy (body and mental). I wake up feeling it’s a new day hehe! Hope it works for you 😉

        • Hi Virginia, I was taking Matt the doctor’s for a routine appointment this afternoon, but I’ll try it tomorrow and use that as an incentive to get up early. 😀 I could definitely use a re-boot most afternoons. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Good morning, Julia! Very true.
    Why would Jesus say, “come to me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest” unless it were a good thing?

    • Susan, so true! I didn’t fully appreciate that verse until about the last 10 years. It has become a favorite of mine!

  5. bobmielke

    Oh goodness Julia your picture of your husband brought back an hilarious memory of a father asleep like this on the beach as his young daughters used a fist full of magic markers to “color” his body. I hope they weren’t the permanent variety. LOL

    • WOW, he must have been SOUND asleep! On the plus side, it saved him a lot of money on tattoos! 😀 Only he didn’t get to choose the details, kind of like Priceline.

      • bobmielke

        I’ll never forget that photo/video. I haven’t laughed so hard in years imagining him waking up to see all that damage.

        • Damage? I thought it was artwork! 😀 I guess it depends on who is wearing it. I bet the markers were kept out of reach in that family after that.

          • bobmielke

            The funniest question is why were they brought to the beach?

            • Good point! Sand and felt tip markers are not a particularly logical combination.

  6. Michael

    Cute poem on UR site that seems somehow appropriate.
    “First we crawl then we walk, eventually we learn to talk.
    Pretty soon we start to stoop, getting old is pigeon poop.”
    Found on a grandfather’s coffee cup.

    • If I get old enough to feel that crabby and tired,
      I’ll hope my passport to heaven has not expired. 😀

  7. Julia, thank you once again, for a glimpse of the guy so peaceful, that so many care so much about. 🙂 May you travel again to the places you love, together.

    • Thank you Sheila. I really appreciate your kind words this morning. Jeff was sick (probably from the chemo, but worse than usual) last night and this morning. I felt so sad watching him go off to work knowing he was feeling so bad. Your words are a comfort.

  8. rayanard

    Julia , I take naps on the weekends, laundry is a 4 hour job at the laundrymat( I turn it into a date with lunch or dinner next door.This weekend maybe might be a short cannonball run.. . ( hey I rise at 5am most days). Be blessed

    • Raynard, your comment brings back memories of when Jeff and I had to go do the laundromat. I hated having to feed all those quarters into those machines. It probably cost the same as a power bill for a dryer at home, but it felt so expensive. Plus even worse was when they were all full and we had to wait until one was available. Then for a few years, until just after Drew was born, we had a washer but no dryer – just a clothesline. But then when Jeff got into the Air Force and we moved to Ohio and rented a house with washer and dryer, hallelujah – it would have been so hard to have two babies in diapers without a washer and dryer! One good thing I do remember about the laudromat is that it was always nice and warm in there during winter, with all those high-power dryers running. That and the humming of the machines make me sleepy just thinking of it.

  9. Oh o, in describing Jeff, you pretty much describe little ol’ me. HA. Mr B is much better at relaxing. He has no trouble laying in a Palapa all day with a book. I try, I really do. Instead of finishing my book though, I’ll go for a walk and look for shells (hopefully I run into people with a dog), a swim, a snorkel then maybe I’ll get back to my book in-between people watching. Or gads, try to have a conversation with Mr B while he reads. Well, maybe one of these days I’ll figure it out. wok

    • Hey, you have just described some alternative ways of relaxing! I love walking along the beach and looking for shells, it’s mesmerizing. I guess there are ways of resting without sitting around. But I still love to lounge! 😀 Maybe the ideal day would be a bit of everything you described.

  10. Megan

    Grady took these words to heart! He took 5 hours worth of naps yesterday! The second time, after sleeping 3 hours, we checked to make sure he was breathing! He sure is making up for all the lack of napping he seemed to do the first few months of life!

    • Grady is wearing himself out with all that walking. We need to get him a Fitbit – I bet he does several miles a day! But the napping is good for him (and for his parents 😀 ) so it’s definitely something to be thankful for. Love to all of you!

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