The Soul of the Matter: Sunday, Sunday…Rest with me, won’t you?

Resting isn’t for the faint of heart. Resting with purpose, that is. Being lazy has its place, no doubt. But resting isn’t all we need, when rebuilding is the goal. Revitalizing. Renewing. Reconnecting with who and what we are beneath the work and the responsibilities and the demands on our emotional selves that drive us to the brink. These are the intricate, delicate bones of real rest.


Good times, bad times, all the time that we spend being and doing and saying what the world accepts we are… Our outward selves are important. But it’s the inner us that only we know how to feed, and it’s our own renewal that only we are responsible for in the end.

To others, we are the combination of everything they’ve seen and heard us do and say, and everything they’ve thought about that person they’ve watched perform for them. But unless we come with our own running narrative (too bad we can’t all live in a novel, right?) others don’t know what we really fee and need and aren’t getting, not unless we tell them. And who wants to be that needy girl, right?

So we muddle through–the kind of muddling that takes a lot of skill and deflection while we take care of our own stuff, on our own, so others won’t see so much of it that they’d get fed up with how demanding we could really be if we let our insecurities off their leash. That kind of muddling can be exhausting. Being honest about who and what we are, at least to those closest to us, would be far less taxing on our nerves, even though honest turns out to be more work in the end than hiding. So, avoiding the harder work, we muddle onward most of the time, thinking that’s what’s expected of us. What others need. How we need to be, so the people we need will still be there for us…


But I digress. The stories we tell ourselves to justify the distance we keep between us and the honest things our relationships could become if we trusted life and loved once more is a topic for another blog post (and, well, all of my novels of late ;o).

Today, Sunday, is a blog about the very hard work of resting. As exhausting as it is to put on a show the rest of the week, a Sunday of rest can be just as challenging.

Top priorities (for writers and readers and livers of life of all variations) include discovering core truths for our resting selves such as the following:

  1. If you were the only one in your life, what would spend your Sunday doing?
  2. If you could do only one thing today, and there were days left to do anything else, what things would disappear off your to-do list forever?
  3. If you couldn’t speak or spend time with another person today, what one thing would bring you the most joy and satisfaction?
  4. If you had all the money or resources or whatever else you needed to make whatever your dream for this day of rest come true, what dream would you leave all the rest behind to achieve?
  5. If you were free of all other expectations, if there were no consequences on your horizon tomorrow, what would you want most to have achieved by the end of this Sunday?

No matter how big or how small or how taxing your own private, personal, inner dream for this day might be, pursue it. That’s the work that the best rests are made of. It’ s a start at least, telling yourself you can have what feeds you most, no matter the nurturing everyone else in your life needs. We have to feed the inner beast every now and then, so she’s ready to take on all those outward needs I eliminated in the list above, because they’re about everyone else and not the us resting days should be about protecting.

feedme me-al

Be a little selfish about your resting, is all I’m saying. Whether selfish to you means reading a book or a chapter of a book or a page of a book (or in my case writing a blog no one else in my family understands or gets anything out of) before you do anything for anyone else on your Sunday.

The others in your world are just as important. I realize that. But it’s these moments of rest with which we gift ourselves that make the person we need to be for others possible. Take care of yourself today. Do for that inner you first. Invite joy and satisfaction into your life every Sunday or rest day or whatever you want to call your Me-Al day. Chase the static and needs of others out of your mind for one perfect moment and envision what you need to fill up with most, and make that happen. Make that your purpose first, and the others will get their kibble, too.

Thanks for helping start my Sunday off the way I’ve wanted to begin every Sunday all this time I’ve been away. You’re the bestest muddling home to come back too, EVER! It’s wonderful to be working so hard at resting again…and to find so many of you so close, resting right along with me.

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5 Responses to “The Soul of the Matter: Sunday, Sunday…Rest with me, won’t you?”

  1. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. Thank you so much for this post and yesterday’s. I’m at the point where the book I *think* I want to write next just isn’t gelling, and maybe this is why. Thanks for giving me permission to just take it easy!

    • I’m at the same point, Jennette. Starting Book 3 in my series (which I’m excited about but can’t decide exactly how to start), and working on a proposal for continuing the series that my agent’s excited to see…just as soon as I work something out.

      I’m usually a stickler about discipline and making writing your job and the job happening every day, as a priority, no matter what else is going on. But sometimes our job is to be who we are when we aren’t writing, so we can come back with that part of us that creates fully engaged…

      You know?

  3. kathy says:

    Anna, once again you’ve helped me see myself more clearly… I’m off now to spend the next hour pouring words onto the page. Words meant only for my eyes. Words to simply purge the angst of the last week and leave it behind so it will stop dulling the color of me. Happy Sunday. :)

    • Kathy, you’ve masterfully described EXACTLY what this blog is to me more often than not. Which is why I’m so happy to be able to put words out here again, when it’s been impossible for me to settle in and belong here for too many empty days ;o)

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