• Dr Jodie Bradnam

Make Time for Sunshine

Sometimes it’s easier said than done. It’s easy to say, “next time” or "someday soon” as we reschedule that gym class, put down that book, abandon that walk or plans to see a film. When we repeatedly silence the small voice that whispers, “take some time”, we are silencing the cues to slow down and inhale. We can’t exhale all the time without pausing for the in-breath. Nor can we expect to have resources to share with others when we’ve not taken time to replenish our own. There was a lesson in this for me last weekend.

Finding time to rest is a challenge. It’s a function of an accelerated pace of living, our tendency to multitask and to over-schedule our days. So, knowing last week was going to be demanding, I made plans for the family weekend I thought I needed - ocean swims, yoga, beach walks, bbqs and board games (and no wifi). Sounds perfect, right? Except that it wasn’t. I didn’t plan on an adolescent rebellion, the challenge of Saturday sports in different directions and the impossible juggle to make space for some down time. By Friday afternoon my plans for rest unraveled spectacularly. And I did too, in a way that left me feeling ashamed, not restored. Despite my best efforts, the chaos that started my week, followed me into the long weekend. I dragged my feet back into Monday trying to work out where it all went so wrong.

I started reflecting on the impossible expectations I held for the weekend and how I’d set myself up to let myself down. I’d contributed to the mess rather than the magic I’d intended. My expectations of the weekend were completely unrealistic and as I reflect now, I had so much packed into the weekend that I’d set myself up for a terrific fall. Not only did I sabotage my own weekend, I’m ashamed to say I probably ruined the weekend for the people I love too.

Making plans and expectations can be a helpful beacon to get us through challenging times, but when we hold these expectations too tightly, we lose flexibility. Rest becomes but another task on a never-ending to-do list. We begin to tune out to opportunities that present in the moment to moment unfolding of time. Real moments of sunshine.

This weekend I’m making room for rest rather than making plans. And if this post resonates with you, I hope that whatever your weekend brings, some restful, peaceful moments find you too.