working dreams and rest

Posted: January 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

It seems I’m a little stubborn when it comes to this REST theme for my 2016.  One would think that since God gave me that word for the year, I’d be intentional about looking for and practicing rest.  Alas, this does not seem to be the case.

I just get so busy being…busy.  Last night was one of those.  There was a series of little things that are better tended to right away than left for later.  And then when there was still 45 minutes left before 6:30 bedtime, I decided to work on an editing project I’m in the midst of completing for a friend.  Now, mind you:  I had the thought that this might not be a great idea right before bed.  But I pushed that thought away – the stuff needs done, and a block of time was available.  I even brought my Chromebook to bed with me when G was ready to turn in and worked just a bit longer before sleeping.

The thing is, I KNOW I can’t do that.  When I do work right before I sleep, whether the work is physical or mental, I proceed to have what I call “working dreams.”  In these dreams, I steadily work and work and work and then work some more on some project, and not only does it never get done, I never even make any progress on it.  The project isn’t always the same – there is a pretty wide variety of tasks that make me so busy in my sleep – but there’s always the same stuck-in-a-feed-loop feel to the thing.  And when I get in major working dream mode, even the interruptions of waking in the night don’t shut the work down.  I think I woke up maybe half a dozen times in the night to roll over or reposition, and every time when I went back to sleep, I fell right back into the same darn working dream.

That is not restful sleep.  I mean, it’s better than not sleeping at all.  But I don’t wake feeling refreshed.  I’m kind of mentally fried after those dreams in the same way I might be after an intense day of brain work at my desk.  It’s harder work to start the day with a decent attitude, and I already know I’ll be very tired by the end of my actual workday, after a night of such dreams.  Ugh.

So this is me, reminding myself not to do work at bedtime.  I’ve tested this principle repeatedly and all results have been the same, so I don’t know why I keep trying again, other than that stubbornness thing.  I should have focused on my READING and RELATIONSHIP themes during that last 45 minutes before bed, instead of working.  Should have read a good book (I’ve got 3 of them in my possession just now), or taken the time to call someone, or written someone a nice note.  Those things are resting for me.  Editing, while fun (I know, it’s not fun for you maybe, but I actually love editing things I didn’t write), is always gonna be work for me.

Looks like I’ll have to apply one of last year’s words – INTENTIONALITY – to get to this year’s word, REST.

  1. Kathy says:

    Karen, rest isn’t easy to do.
    My grandmother had to lay down 40 minutes after lunch once she hit her 80s. If she did, her health was fine. If she didn’t, she was sick a week. So…you’ld think she would take her 40 minutes off.
    She said it was the HARDEST THING she ever had to do.
    My mother has leukemia and COPD. She is having a hard time accepting rest.
    When I was on hospital bed rest for 11 weeks, every mother there was longing to get home.
    So you have been GIVEN rest. It hasn’t been imposed, not resting isn’t life threatening. Is it any wonder it is so hard to do? It’s hard enough to rest when you HAVE to do it.

  2. Mindy Warren says:

    I totally relate. I have the same “working dreams.” I also have a hard time with resting. Reading this makes me think I should be a little more intentional as well. Thanks Karen!

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