I met up with a neighbor recently. I hardly ever see her because she’s always working. But on this day, she was dressed casually, carrying a department store shopping bag, and wearing a cautiously cheery smile.
“Off today?’ I asked her.
“Yes, for once,” she replied. Her smile faded a little and she glanced down at the ground.
“It kind of makes you feel guilty, taking a day off sometimes, doesn’t it?” I asked, understanding immediately her disconnect between having a rare bit of leisure and thinking of the work that still needed to get done.
She looked up at me, clearly grateful.
“Yes,” she said. “It feels weird.”
It can be very hard to know how to relax when you’re working all the time. Even those who are too ill to “hold down” a regular job (or two) can undertand that sense of lost that can come over us when we finish our day’s duties and have a stretch of down time.
But rest is important, and certainly not something to feel guilty about. Especially if you have a health challenge, rest is a way for us to give our bodies the chance to relax, rejuvenate, and become stronger. It’s also a way for us to recharge our spirits, which can be very neglected if we’re working 24/7.
This Labor Day, as we take