“Isn’t this a lovely moment,” I reflected. My husband eased into his wicker chair and smirked, “Where did that come from?”
“Well, Romeo, I was just thinking about how busy this week has been and how nice it is to rest here on the deck, look at the mountains, and do absolutely nothing.”
We’ve recently started taking some time in the evenings to sit and do nothing—no television, no phones, no devices. The goal is to catch up on work and important family matters, one of which is our daughter’s upcoming wedding. It’s become our favorite part of the day, but we find it surprisingly hard to sit still in the quiet.
Our culture breeds multi-taskers. I listen to podcasts while I prepare dinner. I fold laundry while I watch the news. I return calls while I drive to the gym. And my husband’s office is that of an ADHD executive: two computer monitors, a television, satellite radio, an iPad, a desk phone and a cell phone.
It’s hard to shut it all down when we get home.
We fight the temptation to text the kids, catch up on emails, or see what current events we’ve missed. When we made the decision to leave the devices in another room, we discovered something fascinating:
It’s okay to take care of those things later.
Not everything has to be handled the minute we remember it. I’m a list-maker by nature, so I keep little pads of paper handy. I jot notes as we chat and update the list throughout the evening, but I wait until the next morning to tie up those loose ends.
Scientific American looked at our culture’s habit of perpetual busyness as a means of increasing productivity. Researchers found those tendencies not only contributed to a decrease in productivity, but also a decrease in overall health and wellbeing. Even brief mental breaks throughout our day can “increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity.” (Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime)
While this might be news to us, it’s not news to our Creator. He instituted the Sabbath for our benefit, giving us the opportunity to take the downtime we so desperately need.
Unplugging, vacationing, and observing the Sabbath can be challenging at every season of life, but rest isn’t impossible. Even taking time to stop and appreciate the lovely moments throughout the day can refresh our minds and bodies, and let us focus on who (and what) is truly important in our lives.
Featured Image, Blake Richard Verdoorn (Unsplash.com)
Sleeping Bearcat,Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Laptop, David Castillo Dominici (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)