Permission to Rest

by

This is a fun and busy week for me. Every year 24 local yarn stores band together for a regional tour that runs for 5 days, from Wednesday to Sunday. The shops are open extra hours in the evenings and folks drive around to try and visit as many of them as possible. There are prize drawings at each shop for each day’s visitors as well as drawings for folks who visit either 8, 16, or all 24 stores. Each store has patterns available for free, and discounted yarn that will work with those patterns.

 

On Wednesday I drove 125 miles and visited 6 stores in all. Thursday, I picked up a friend, and together we drove 167 miles and managed to visit 6 stores (and had some of the best pizza I have ever had). Both days were fun, if tiring.

 

Friday is Syttende Mai (the 17th of May, aka Norwegian Constitution Day).  In the years before I started knitting, I went to Ballard (a neighborhood in Seattle) for what is billed as the largest Syttende Mai parade outside of Norway. That was also fun, and tiring.  

 

This year, I will limit my celebration to hanging out my Norwegian Flag and maybe making my family’s traditional Norwegian Pancakes for dinner; as, I plan to spend Friday on the road, this time heading North to some of the stores that are furthest from me.

 

There is only so much I can do in one day.

 

At times like this, when I have several fun and exciting things that I would like to do, it is important to remind myself that there is such a thing as Happy Stress and it can be just as draining as regular old stress.

 

When I attend conventions for fans of science fiction/fantasy, there is a rule for staying healthy, cheerful, and energetic, that the members tend to remind each other of and joke about: It is the 5, 2, 1 Rule, which recommends that attendees get a minimum of 5 hours of sleep per night, eat at least 2 meals per day, and fit in at least 1 shower per day. And while the shower rule is more about keeping a very busy and packed space pleasant for everyone, all three of them can help everyone enjoy the convention.

 

Sometimes, I get caught up in the need to do just-one-more thing instead of taking a break. The Thing can range from loading the dishwasher when I’m trying to get out the door, to driving to one more store on the LYS Tour. It can be easy to lose track of the quiet time that enriches experiences by allowing time to reflect on them before rushing off to the next Thing.

 

Weekly worship and intentional quiet time can both provide a meaningful pause in the rushing about that everyday life can encourage. Those pauses can give me space to be intentional about how I am choosing to spend my time doing and if those choices are sustainable.

 

It’s a lot of fun to drive from store to store and collect the new patterns, see the beautiful yarn, and chat with other folks having fun doing the same thing. However, I can’t live at that fever pitch. So, come Sunday, I will spend some quiet time reflecting on the joy this adventure gave me and give myself permission to rest, from even my fun labors.

 

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Kristin Fontaine is an itinerant Episcopalian, crafter, hobbyist, and unstoppable organizer of everything. Advent is her favorite season, but she thinks about the meaning of life and her relationship to God year-round. It all spills out in the essays she writes. She and her husband own Dailey Data Group, a statistical consulting company.

© 2019 Kristin Fontaine

 

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