If God Rested on the 7th Day

Advice You've Received From a Parent, Caregiver or Friend that Rings True Today

 

Alternative titles:

 

“Is this what dream chasing looks like?”

 

“How R&R can keep you out of the ER”

 

A Studying Playlist from Spotify on 57% volume loops in the background. Click* Click* My pupils lock onto the screen. Click* Click*. The cursor moves a file over. Click*, Click* The file uploads to Google Drive. Click* Click* The files are off to the client. And now I can finally - BEEP, BEEP. My cracked iPhone screen reads, “Time To Get Up." My mind drags the rest of my body to a cold shower.

 

“Is this what dream chasing looks like?”

 

I turn the faucet. The winter water splashes over my face. As the frigid mist bounces across my skin, the same question bounces around in my mind.

 

Unable to find peace while in the shower. I try to see if brushing my teeth inspires an answer. Nope. How about washing my face? Nothing. Flossing? Yeah..no. With my morning routine complete, I descend down the stairs. In search of an answer and my left black boot, I see a familiar figure in the living room sitting behind his laptop. It’s my father.

 

“Good Morning.”

 

“Morning Dad.”

 

I look around for my black boot.

 

“You alright?”

 

“Yeah Dad, I’m tired that’s all."

 

My dad studies me further.

 

“Did you get any sleep?”

 

I look under the table and find the long lost boot.

 

“Not last night, I had to get this project done.”

 

My dad shakes his head. I slip on the boot and zip it up.

 

“What?”

 

I see my dad as he shakes his head...

 

“You need to pace yourself or you’re going to run yourself ragged.”

 

I grab my keys and check the clock on the stove. 5:17AM.

 

“Pace myself? Dad, How?"

 

My dad makes eye contact with me. I sit down.

 

“How can I pace myself when my dreams are so big and so far away?”

 

Then my dad makes that smile and gives me look that only wise people can give.

 

“R&R."

 

“Rest and Relaxation?”

 

My face scrunches up in disbelief.

 

“No, Rest and Reflection.”

 

My dad closes his laptop.

 

“When you rest, you can relax, chill out and that’s fine. But you need to reflect. When you do, you can now see where you are going. And when you see where you’re going, you can move with purpose."

 

I set my keys down and leaned back into the couch.

 

"With a clearer grip on your purpose, you can put all your energy into things that get you closer to your dream. Without rest, you get into a cycle hoping it will change, but it never does. Insanity is doing the same thing but hoping for a different result. And without rest, that’s where you end up.”

 

I look up and see all the plaques from my Dad’s 26-year military career.

 

“If God rested on the 7th day, what makes you think you shouldn’t?”

 

I looked at the stove. 5:36AM. I was about to be late for work!

 

"Thanks Dad, but I got to go."

 

“You’re welcome, son. Get some rest, or rest will come get you.”

 

I smile and rush out the door. And while I continue to postpone rest, rest came for me. In two months time, rest for me came in the way a pulmonary embolism in my lung. I was bedridden and out of action for three months.

 

In a world fueled by competition, and a world that takes pride in #NoSleep, you have to take time to rest and reflect. Ambition is important and essential, but without rest, your ambition can be blind. Blind ambition can cause you to fall into subtle self destructive cycles. These cycles are often offset by a grade, or some measure of success, so we bite the bullet. But the subtle negative effects of these cycles compound over time. And if you’re not careful (like me) the effects will catch up with you and force you to rest.

 

You don’t want a mandatory rest. You don’t want to flirt with compromising your health. Take the time during the week, to rest and reflect. You have to rest and reflect to see where you’re going. You have to rest and reflect to see where you have been. You have to rest and reflect to reach your dreams. And you have to rest and reflect or you will be forced to do it against your own will.

 

Breathe easy, and don’t let finals, presentations, interviews, or your own dreams compromise who you are.

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