Thursday, April 26, 2012

Choosing Coffee over Sleep to Find Rest

I have this theory on life and busyness, that only the dead or infirm aren't busy, so I might as well find a way to like being busy and be thankful about it.  I know that's sort of a weird way of looking at it, but it really does work for me.

Even with that excellent theory on busyness I still have a lot to learn when it comes to finding the right balance of work, rest, and play.  As much as I've tried to make it work, I've discovered that a Mars bar isn't the answer to finding that equilibrium.  At least, not always. 

Not recommended for finding peace
I'm more certain that anything of value that has happened and will happen in our lives, will only happen if we do it on purpose. 

Even the mundane needs to be tackled with purpose:

Dishes don't wash themselves. Neither do clothes, or kids, for that matter.

If I could invent something that could do all three at once, then I'd really have it made.

But wishful inventing aside, I've also learned that more importantly, the big things in life don't happen by accident either, even if they are bigger and more important:

Relationships don't grow by accident.

Important conversations don't happen without forethought.

Rest doesn't happen unless I plan for it.

In fact, Captain Chaos, Master Disaster and the Evil Baron VonBusyness, are the only things that take over here without any help at all from me. I easily become their sidekick, increasing the mayhem in every area of my life if I am not mindful! I am trying to reign in these Super Villains to bring rest and reduce the life-sucking busyness that comes in their wake by making intentional space for rest in our lives. 

Family Matters has challenged bloggers to write about what they do to bring rest to their hurried homes.  Dr. Kimmel has even written a book with 101 ideas on this very subject called: Little House on the Freeway.  (on sale for April!) I think it's time I added this one to our home library, because every time I make a new place for rest in our lives I am always better for it.  

One habit that helps keep the Triumvirate of Aforementioned Evil at bay in our home is the coffee time Josh and I have together every morning.  We choose to wake up an hour before the kids are allowed to get out of their rooms every morning.  We don't have an agenda for these meetings except that they must be caffeine infused and without kids.  Some days we just stare out at the world in front of us and beg the caffeine to do it's thing before the kids all bust our of their rooms to get their day started. But at least we are together. Other days we feel more awake and have a chance to talk about the business, our schedules, or our struggles. It is one of my favourite times of day. 

It understand that it doesn't make sense to say that losing out on an hours sleep would lead to more rest, but we've found it to be true. And it's not like it didn't require some serious training of each of our kids,(think months, not days) for them to stay put each morning. But it has been totally worth it. I think it helps us remember what the important things are in our life when we do this so consistently.  It gives us time to plan our days out so that we can schedule time for important conversations and events with our kids and with each other.

The greatest evidence I have of the peace this habit brings to our home is the lack of rest I feel on the days we miss out on this time together.  So even though I may quietly curse that alarm clock when it goes off every morning at 6, I will force my feet to the floor and greet the day with gusto...right after Josh makes me a coffee.


  1. What a great habit! I need to work on teaching my kids to stay in their rooms until 7.

  2. It's totally worth doing Tara - lots of crazy mornings getting there, but once you're there it's golden!


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