Usually I am an early bird, up at the crack of dawn, conquering the world. Today that was not the case. At 9:00 am I was still in bed, not even sleeping, just lying there because that is what I needed. When I got up I went to the kitchen and slowly made a creamy scramble and breakfast tea the way I like it, dark and strong. Still, I am wearing a baggy t-shirt with flour stains and leggings with a whole in them. This is the second day I am wearing this outfit and I plan on wearing it all day.

I suffer from chronic overscheduling. Usually I over estimate what I can do. My personality requires quiet mornings with minimal people and lazy nights of nothing after long days of everything. Still, I pack each minute of the day with a task or obligation because I like doing more than resting. When I am talking to a friend or traveling around I feel alive and productive, but it is not long before I get tired and grumpy. Soon I feel raw after speeding through life. I begin to slowdown and shutdown until I have to sit down and do nothing at all.

It’s like using a shovel all day long, without breaks or gloves. At first it is fine, and productive, you can scoop up piles of dirt and sprinkle them over rows of seeds, no problem. But as the day wears on, the sun crisps your skin, and the work seems unending, so you get a bit weary. Heat exhausts your body and your hands blister and crack until they are raw and red. Still, you keep going, but you work slower. As you push yourself your hands become rawer.

A dose of grace makes you go farther. Before your hands crack and blister, give them a rest. Slow down and sit in the shade sipping a cool cup of tea. Instead of cramming in one more obligation stay at home, wear dirty clothes and watch a movie. If you do feel your life becoming raw, spend a bit more time resting and being. A whole day of grace is a good dose to get the skin on your hands fleshy and elastic again.

If you never let your hands get raw, then you will be far more productive. Bits of breaks keep your body and soul refreshed to the point of motivation, pushing you forward into doing just a bit more. That is when you feel alive.

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