Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rest Up, Buttercup

Dear Annie,

I absolutely loved hearing you (laughingly) tell me over the phone that 1) you had mono and 2) that those weeks were some of the best of your life and then be able to read you beautiful reflection on the "why" and "so what" parts of that experience. I loved how you saw God in that whole experience too; you didn't assume he struck you with this illness out of his dissatisfaction with your lack of restfulness, but you were able to see the peace of His rest in spite of a pretty miserable situation. I felt terrible when I heard you had mono, but I now have a new form of sympathy after my own pretty miserable situation...just days after we talked on the phone I had a nasty bout of food poisoning! Although my sickness was gone in a matter of days (nothing in comparison to mono), I had a little snap shot of that forced rest you mentioned and felt grateful for it as well!

Throughout all my time at Westmont I experienced a phenomena I labeled "residual stress." I would study my butt off for weeks at a time in preparation for a massive test, but then, even when the test was over, I would experience a decently high level of anxiety about whatever I was doing. The days leading up to the exam I would cram every waking moment with a flashcard or a practice quiz, training my brain to fire on this go go go frequency; it's no surprise, then, that the feeling of I-must-be-doing-something-at-all-times left me stressed out for the next few days. All that to be say: I did not rest well. Not to say I never rested, but it just wasn't a normal part of my life as a college student.

Life today looks a lot different than life back at Westmont. As you know I'm in a kind of interim period in life. I graduated at the beginning of May but will not start my new job until the beginning of June, leaving me with about 4 weeks of family time and necessary relaxation. It's also odd because in a matter of days I'll start the process of moving my entire life to a new state, begin a new job, and finish up the wedding planning for the last seven weeks of our engagement. With all these changes on the horizon I truly feel like these 4 weeks have been such a sweet gift, a time to rest up, dig in to family and life in Pleasanton, and transition well to this new phase of life.

Rest right now looks like reading in my local coffee shop (that my sister also works at), catching up on my favorite TV shows (like Survivor, duh), and doing summer-y things like walking a mile or two to get froyo with my family (original tart is my fav). However, my mom and I start the drive to CO tomorrow morning, and I have to admit, I have absolutely no idea what rest is going to look like when I'm living alone in the new apartment and starting a completely new job. On top of that, a couple times a month I will be working a 12-hr weekend shift, completely throwing a traditional 'sabbath' day out the window. While I have no idea what rest will look like after I settle in to CO life, your letter reminded me how grateful I am for this time of rest and how focused I need to be on resting in the upcoming weeks. The 'rest' of my thoughts are definitely in a to-be-continued phase. I have no idea what life is going to look like, but I would love to talk about rest again...maybe in 4 months? ;) With a kitchen all to myself, though, I know cooking will be a big part of my rest/self care routine--maybe some new Rachel approved recipes will make an appearance in a letter pretty soon!
Next letter comin' at you from the big CO!

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