I’m a lot busier recently. Maybe it’s a function of the ebullience that is gripping a vaccinated America but I’m finding more obligations in my calendar than I can recall in years. It’s still not quite to the place I was when I was a full time founder but I’m noticing fewer long blocks of time to myself.
I benefit from unstructured unencumbered time at rest. It’s not that I need it to be alone time or quiet time as much I need full on rest. I thrive when I have no reason to get out of bed. I do best reading and synthesizing when my mind is free to wander without any obligation to anything but that space.
Even otherwise pleasurable but not explicitly rest activities like going for a hike or painting my toenails doesn’t register as rest to me I’ll feel a kind of indignation when I’ve had an otherwise amazing day (filled with leisure activities) but didn’t get enough rest. I’ll think “sure it was fun” but also “now I’m tired and that wasn’t restful at all” goes through my head. For me the most restorative thing is not to do anything at all.
In fact the further away my activity is from boundaries like being constructive the more constructive I am afterwards. I try not to set myself up with the expectation that I am rewarded by productivity when I am at rest. That would set in motion the same circle of doing activities and not feeling rested because it wasn’t explicitly rest. That would become a kind of self limiting belief that leads to workaholism which I’ve pledged to avoid.
I hope that as the enthusiasm of exciting work and better help take more of my time I don’t feel tempted to indulge in activities that don’t feel restorative to me. None of this year would have been worth it if I went back to old unfulfilling ways of living.