Revelations column: Find time to rest

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

Nov. 30, 2012 at 5:30 a.m.
Updated Dec. 3, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.

In recent weeks, I've scarcely had a moment to breathe.

When I haven't been at the office, I've been working on various side projects, visiting friends and family for the holidays, battling the most stubborn strain of bronchial and sinus infections and navigating some troubling life "stuff" that, frankly, has just been taking up too much of my attention.

In short - I've been tired. I've been busy. I've been in need of more hours in the day.

I've been in need of silence.

I've been in need of physical and spiritual rest.

For too many weeks now, I've been waking up at night on the hour, every hour, checking the clock on my nightstand to see how long I've been asleep.

I can't tell you how many times I've uttered the phrase, "It's only been an hour?" to myself in the middle of the night, before slamming my head into my pillow and pulling the covers over my head in restless frustration.

Mostly, I fell right back to sleep.

But other times, I got up, walked around and moseyed into the kitchen for a glass of water.

Sadie, of course, hated when I got out of bed because she sleeps like a rock. And if anyone disturbs her sleep, or moves her from the warm, under-the-blanket position she creates for herself, she growls until she falls back to sleep.

It's actually quite amusing at 2 a.m.

It's not so amusing around 2 p.m., however, when I'm tired and yawning at work and reaching for my fifth cup of coffee.

Enter Sunday night.

I stopped at the pharmacy after work that night to pick up a third round of antibiotics, some coma-inducing cough medicine and a 24-hour decongestant. I also purchased some overpriced ice cream - which I consumed unapologetically Sunday night until my swollen and raspy throat was numb.

About an hour later, I chugged a strong dose of cough syrup, and fell to sleep on the couch 30 minutes later.

I slept eight, long, dreamless hours that night, and woke up to my 7 a.m. alarm going off on my phone. I reached for my laptop and moved just far enough off the couch to email my boss and let her know I would be staying home from work.

She was gracious and understanding and commanded me to rest.

So, I did.

I went back to sleep on the couch once again and slept for another eight hours.

It was as if my body and mind finally said, "I'm out. Leave a message."

I woke up next to Sadie later that evening, who was also sleeping on her left side with both arms reaching out from under the covers.

We were a sight to behold, I'm sure.

When I awoke for the second and final time, I decided I'd spend the rest of the evening in silence: No phones, no television, no work, no Internet.

No plans, no deadlines, no decisions, no tasks.

I decided the best thing I could do for myself that day was to rest my body and my mind and let the world go on and function without me.

A few hours later, after the sun set again in what seemed like the quickest day of my life, I went back to sleep, this time in my bed and slept another eight hours.

Since Tuesday, I've had more energy than I've had in a long time, and every night this week, me and Sadie both have slept like rocks.

Sure, I'll credit the coma-inducing cough medicine somewhat for helping me sleep through the night.

But I also think that one little day I allowed myself to rest, was enough to energize my body and spirit, and refocus my attention on the things that absolutely require it.

And those stubborn bronchial and sinus infections are finally starting to go away.

So, too, is some of that other life "stuff," that's been distracting me lately.

I can't be certain these are signs that things will begin to start slowing down as the next few weeks pass.

But I can be certain, no matter what my schedule looks like in the coming months, I will be making more of an effort to rest - body, mind and spirit.

Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or or on Twitterjenniferpreyss.



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