Sunday, July 6, 2014

Thoughts on Limits, Rest, Play and What I Need

(photo credit Jamie Bagley)

What Are My Limits?

Like all human beings, I am limited by time and space. I have a certain number years allotted to my life, known only to God. There are just 24 hours in a day. Approximately 1/3 of those are needed for sleeping, although I don't always get 8 hours. Some of the time is used for preparing and eating food and various other chores.

My head is full of ideas of things I'd like to do, but there is no way in the world that I would have time to do all of them.  So there is a limit of what I can do which means I have to choose what to do and what not to do.

There is also the kind of limit I should put on myself in the sense that there are many things I am physically capable of doing but may not be good for me and might even be harmful to someone else, things like saying hurtful things, lashing out in anger, or talking behind someone's back, to name a few.

Take Time For Rest

According to Rhymezone some synonyms for rest include words like breathe, repose, take a breather, ease, relaxation. For me rest may mean taking a break from a daily chore by working in my art journal or writing a poem. 

Sometimes I find it restful to take a leisurely walk looking for things to photograph or sit on my porch enjoying the view. This was taken this afternoon while my husband and one son were out on the porch reading a book aloud together.

Other times if I've been busy in the kitchen baking bread, making granola and yogurt or whatever it might be on a particular day, rest would take the form of sitting in a recliner with my feet propped up for a few minutes either reading or perusing the internet. I'll admit that sometimes the few minutes go on for an hour or more, but maybe I really need that long of a break.

Rest is something necessary but sometimes forgotten in my push to either get something done or keep on with a project that is fun. I will often stay up late to finish a blog post or read what others have written. Then I will wake up early and go through the day, stay up late again, doing this for a few days which sooner or later takes its toll. I become very tired, frustrated more easily, grumpy and sometimes hard to get along with.

Why do I fight it? Do I think I'll miss something if I take a nap during the day?  


Play for me can be any number of things like learning dancing with my husband, which we haven't done in awhile. Hmm, maybe we should start that up again. One thing I tried recently for the first time was playing around with acrylic paint as shown by this picture.

I'm sure the perspective isn't quite right, but it was a fun, relaxing and energizing exercise. If you stand back a distance it does sort of look like a tree in the midst of a flowery hillside.

Sometimes my sons and I will play card games like Uno or Dutch Blitz, and we will also play games on the Wii. We go through stages where we will play every night for awhile, and then we won't play for several weeks.

One thing I have not done in awhile is play the piano. I don't like to admit that, because the piano is not only a source for recreation for me but also an instrument for calming. Often when I would play hymns I considered it an act of worship as my fingers danced over the keys. In my younger days when I was angry I would release it by playing a loud, angry sounding song. 


Reading over what I have written about my limits, my rest and my play, I do see areas that need attention. My schedule needs to be arranged so that I get to bed earlier at night in order to feel rested when I wake up in the morning. I need to recognize my limits so as not to push to the point of exhaustion.

Making plans for menus and for clearing out clutter in a systematic way would help me to be better organized. That way I can take time for doing things I enjoy without always worrying about all the work that is left to do. 

I also need to practice some self care, doing things to make me smile like painting my toenails a happy color. I also will try to play the piano just a little bit every day

To top it all off it would be great if I could remember to start and end each day with praise and gratitude to God for what He has given to me. Actually, I would like to cultivate an attitude of being thankful throughout the day.

This gives me plenty to work on, don't you think?  Tonight I am thankful for all the blueberries I was able to pluck from our loaded bushes!

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