Giving Up

Posted: February 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Here’s how my Sundays typically look - Wake up. Rush around getting ready for church. Eat a quick breakfast.

sunday breakfast

Go to church. Rush home to get the kids fed and down for a nap. Eat my own lunch. Type my blog’s weekend recap post. Rush to the grocery store. Rush home to feed B again. Hang out with the family. Cook dinner. Get kids to bed. Crash on the couch with Peter and wonder where the day/weekend went.

EV.ERY.SUN.DAY! Notice the word “rush” popping up a lot in there?

During the week I really have no choice in the matter. Things must get done and to do that I pretty much need to hit the ground running from the time I wake up until whatever time I can crawl back into bed. However, not every day needs to be go go go go go go. Yesterday’s message at church hit me right between the eyes with that fact. And the fact I need to apply it to my life.

Consider the following scenarios:

  • Imagine your boss coming to you at work while you are so overwhelmed and exhausted. He tells you to pack it up and take the day off. Go home; rest; play; enjoy a free day. Would you turn that down?
  • Imagine a young child offered a day to hang out with his or her mom or dad. Just enjoying each other’s company. No pressure. No distractions. Just love. That child would feel pretty excited, no?

Well, that’s exactly the scenario offered to us once a week for our health and sanity. Yet I have profusely ignored it too often. I can’t tell you how many times I have told myself I want to keep one day a week free from obligation, only to find myself in the same patterns.

I woke up feeling empty Sunday morning. I felt down about a lot of things for no reason in particular. I believe it came from lack of rest and recuperation in my busy, hectic life. I need to commit myself to keeping Sunday open for personal time and healing. I will do my absolute best to get grocery shopping done on Saturdays. I will wait to do my regular Sunday evening weekend wrap-up post until Monday morning. I will keep my schedule as clear as possible to truly focus on church, time spent with loved ones, and maybe some naps.

There will certainly come some weekends where schedules won’t allow that, but I need to remember the importance and value of making a concentrated effort to keep one day a week as open and carefree as possible. Just as rest is important for physical training, it also matters greatly to emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Why do I have such a hard time remembering that? Hopefully this time it will click for good.

Question of the Evening – Do you schedule a day each week to not have any pressing obligations? Is it hard for you to relax more?


56 Comments to “Giving Up”
  1. I feel the older I get, the harder it is to relax…even on the weekends I feel like “there’s got to be something I should do”. But I always have that time at night where I can sit with my hubby and just zone out. I love that! But I would love to take a total day off! ahhhhh

  2. One reason I love your blog is because of great posts like these. It’s so true that we are so often in ‘go mode’. I always let myself hang out and be ‘useless’ for awhile on the weekends. Though, I think the ‘useless’ ends up being useful 🙂

  3. Lauren says:

    The weekends are like that for me, sometimes, I have plans, other times, I don’t. It’s nice to relax and just hangout, but I for part of the day, I always feel like I should do something – exercise or catch up on homework. It’s hard for me to completely relax for one whole day!

  4. I’m trying to do the same thing, but it’s hard to designate a day of rest that will be the same day everyday. And then there’s the issue of not being able to relax- I think so many women feel the need to be working (i.e. cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, etc.) when we are not at work, or in your case raising children, or both. It’s hard to let yourself just relax and recharge, even when you have the time!

  5. I *try* to save one day of the week where I don’t have obligations, or at the very least, one morning where I can sleep in! I try to get all the errands, marathon training, friend/boyfriend time on Saturday so that I mostly spend Sundays lounging and unwinding at home. It makes for a tiring Saturday, but I find it worth it!

  6. G says:

    That last picture is now the background on my computer. As a student, I cannot afford to take a day off… there is always something to be read or research to do. My “time off” is my workout time, when I let my brain turn itself off and focus on the physical stuff instead of the constant mental planning, organizing, scheduling, etc.

    • Tina says:

      I can imagine how busy you are! That’s like I will never get a day of parenting, but I can make a day less hectic than others at least. Hopefully.

  7. I LOVE relaxing days away from the go, go go. I definitely schedule days to do as little as possible. I know some like to do a bit each day, but I really prefer to do all of my errands in ONE day so I don’t have so much junk to do EVERY day! Great post and great reminder! 🙂

  8. I definitely do not schedule a day off. I think it’s very hard for me to completely take a day off. I work at my bringing home the bacon job four days a week, then on the other three days end up working on my business, visiting with family, meeting friends, etc. It’s very, very hard for me to do something and just relax.

    This post made me sad – but just because it makes me think about how to really give myself time to just be, and I’m not sure how to do it…

  9. I’m not even a mom with two (under the age of 3) children and I find my weekends being totally consumed with grocery shopping, laundry, workouts (they are sometimes a chore for me, let’s face it), prepping my meals for the week, etc. It’s exhausting. I used to spend my weekends hanging out with my Fiance, going for runs together. Throwing the football in a park, or simply catching up on a movie. My attitude towards perfectionism has hindered this. I want everything done by Sunday night or it drives me crazy. Basically, I need to let go. So what if we don’t have any bananas for the week. We’ll live.

    Time spent together is much more important. As always Tina, thank you for a great though-provoking post!

    • Tina says:

      Someone once told me to just remember “it’ll get done”. And it really always does get done…and usually quicker/easier than when stressing about it. Hard to grasp, but so true!

  10. Those days for me are definitely Sundays. I never used to have that “rest day” mentality until I met the Husband. he grew up with that being the norm, and I have come to accept it!

  11. I take days off from working out and being social, those are my “Me’ nights where I can do whatever I want and just hang out.

    Unfortunately, I never take a day off from worrying. I hate my job so much I am already feeling sick in my stomach since I had today off but have to go back in tomorrow. This is one of the reasons I’m quitting very soon.

  12. I’m not good at scheduling days off but after having the past 3 weeks be PACKED with activities (even every night after work), I purposely didn’t make any plans for this upcoming weekend. I have stuff to do around the house and want some ‘me’ time. Great post and so timely.

  13. Coco says:

    This is a really good post. I remember in religion class we learned some non-religous reasons behind some of the dieteary rules in Dueteronomy (relating to food safety), and between that and this, I am thinking that there is more than just God’s “ego” behind the commandment to “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” Our lives will be better – and we will be happier and more balanced – if we set aside time for God and family and friends.

    As for me, I do generally do my grocery shopping on the way home from church on Sundays, but that’s about it.

    This weekend I made a conscious decision not to do any work all weekend and it was great!

  14. Monday through Friday here are pressing with getting the kids out the door for school. It is so frustrating trying to find a minute to even get myself ready to get anything done here those days. I am trying to be more organized, which I hope will help.

  15. I have a hard time giving up Friday nights. It’s the end of my work week and all I want to do is sit and not think…

    Of course, there are always exceptions, but I have to have at least one night of lounge time on the weekends!

  16. Helen says:

    This holds true for me. I have two goals on my list for 2011 to spend at least one night a week as family night and one at least one a month for date night. I was thinking this was a good start. Hopefull it will work up to an entire day 🙂

  17. Jess says:

    Man, did I NEED to hear this tonight, Tina. I battled this “down” feeling all day…I so totally feel like (especially during the week) that all I do is go, go go, and don’t take enough time to be present. I even contemplating giving up my blog tonight because I’m afraid I’m spreading myself so thin. And the “be present” thing is so important to me and I feel like I’ve been doing very little of that lately. But then I read your post. And you know what? I don’t have to do everything in an “all or nothing” mentality. It’s ok to blog a little bit less, or spend an hour less at the office if it means more balance in other areas of my life. It’s unsettling to me how hard it is for me to move past the “all or nothing” mentality but it needs to be done. It’s ok to take a day off…just like you said. THANK YOU so much for this, totally needed this more than you know.

  18. lindsay says:

    oh wow, yes this hits home. But you being a mom and wife need that kind of sabbath to recharge. You are so wise for noticing this. Its not giving up, it recharging so that you can be the a better person for them.

  19. Tracy says:

    Mostly impossible :-), but I do manage to get an off day every once in a while – and those days are…glorious. Words of advice from my mother that I’ll never forget after she listened to me talk about my schedule one day were “yes, Tracy…all of those things do need to get done, but they don’t all need to be done right now.”

  20. Kirsten says:

    I don’t schedule days off per say but if that is where my day takes me or where I choose to take it then so be it, especially on the weekends.

    Now, I am married but I don’t have kids so I imagine that is much easier for me than for the moms but I find that anything I need to get done will still be there after I’ve enjoyed a day off.

  21. […] some of my favorite blog friends had similar thoughts as mine…including Lindsay, Heather, Tina and Nicole. Unreal how that happens sometimes, […]

  22. I usually try to keep my Sundays pretty low key, until the evening because I have a meeting at 7 every Sunday. But, like you, I feel like I am ALWAYS rushing around on the weekends to get things done!

  23. Kat says:

    I know for me, Tuesday nights are usually my “recharge” nights. Marcus is at class and I try to avoid scheduling plans, that way I can just…do some much needed pampering.

    That being said, it’s SO easy to get caught up in things and forget to take time for yourself and to nurture your most important relationships.

  24. Yes, yes, yes!! Sundays are definitely a rest day for me. Even though I may do things around the house or whatever, there is absolutely no pressure. And except for church, there’s no schedule. Okay and maybe nap time. What can I say? I’m a schedule freak so this is good for me. 🙂

  25. Sabbathing is a really difficult thing for us…we always tend to over schedule ourselves. We have needed ti work on that for a looooong time

  26. Mac says:

    I have a tough time fitting in “me time” between school, work, family, boyfriend, and friends, but I found the best time for me is right before bed… which unfortunately keeps me up later than I would prefer some nights, but it is worth it!

  27. What a great idea! 🙂 I try ot find me-time, or time to do nothing, but I feel like I end up procrastinating on so much of my work that I don’t have time to SCHEDULE that kind of time, or anything… I’m working on it 😉

    It’s definitely necessary to step back and calm down sometimes though!

  28. This is SO true. When I’m busy I always think about how I’d love to just have a moment to RELAX, but when I do I use my free time to go go go go! Great post 🙂

  29. Dorry says:

    I love this – I’m going to save that image so I can refer to it. Since we don’t have kids yet, I do have some free time on my hands and I try not to take it for granted. Watching my sisters become mothers and realizing the FULL-time job that it is, I really have a huge respect for you and all that you get done! I know your workouts are a good “me time”, but I hope your Sunday afternoons can become more of rest and recover time. You definitely deserve it!

  30. […] when Tina posted about taking a “rest day” today, a light bulb went off. When I have truly had a day off? When I have actually ignored my […]

  31. I have an incredibly hard time relaxing these days with work and school, but I’ve been making time to hang out with Alex and the pups more, and that time has been well worth the sacrifices elsewhere!

  32. Shannon says:

    I have a hard time relaxing too. There’s just so much to get done! Ibactially let myself doze with Noah James yesterday while he napped in my arms. I need to take advantage of simple pleasures like that while he’s still small enough to want to nap with mommy! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  33. allison says:

    Good for you!!! And its not “giving up” its “taking charge”!! Take some me time and never ever ever feel guilty about it:)

  34. Mandy says:

    I needed this reminder 🙂 Thanks!

  35. Heather says:

    Ahhhhhh……..great message. I have a hard time with this, too. But I try to remember to slow down b/c I’m a big believer in Happy Mommy = Happy Kids! 🙂

  36. I totally agree–the concept of resting on the 7th day or Sabbath is spot on and very precious. Keep us posted!

  37. Marie says:

    I try and make Sunday a relaxing day as well. But it hardly ever happens. Maybe we should plan a get together day then? That way we have to take the day off.

  38. Kacy says:

    It used to be SO hard for me to relax, but over the past year or so I’ve gotten better at slowing down. I schedule things on the weekend, but if there’s not a significant chunk of time set aside for relaxing I usually cut something out. It’s very important to me!

  39. My Sundays used to be very rushed, but a few weeks ago, my husband and I declared Sunday to be family day. We allow ourselves to run minimal errands and spend most of the day relaxing and enjoying our baby.

  40. Emily says:

    Such a good topic Tina! We are really in a culture of rushing around and trying to get millions of things done at once. Slowing down and appreciating the here and now is so important!

  41. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tina Reale, Tina Reale. Tina Reale said: Giving Up: Here’s how my Sundays typically look – Wake up. Rush around getting ready for church. Eat a quick bre… […]

  42. You know what, I bust my toosh from Friday night to Saturday nights making sure everything that needs to get done, gets done (laundry, cleaning, errands, food shopping) so that on Sunday it is REST day…a day to be lazy in my jammies all day if I want..a day to spend with my family and no other! No cleaning, no errands, no cooking, no working out..just whatever I want to do with my family! Now, i cant tell you I dont feel guilty as all heck, because I do. Why? because I get two full days to spend with my daughter on the weekends (bc i work outside of the home) and I spend one full day of it not giving her all the attention I want to so that I can get stuff done so that on Sunday I can give it ALL to her. It breaks my heart every Saturday but come Sunday…well, that’s just the best day of my week.

    • Tina says:

      You know what? That is so great! And think of it this way – she would much rather have ALL of you one full day, than 3/4 or 1/2 of you both days with things on your mind or needing to get done. You’re awesome.

  43. I have lately been trying to take Sunday as a day to just shut my brain OFF and live in the moment. When I can do it, it really re-charges me. I need to remember to work on that more for Sundays. I think Sunday is a good day to do it, I just remember the ‘day of rest’ lesson. I need to start going to church again…that kind of helped me focus on that on Sundays.

  44. Tina I love this post!! I too get caught up in so many obligations that I’m unable to enjoy my weekend, get ahead on blog writing or even just get some home projects accomplished. I have decided that Sundays need to be my ‘day off from busy things in life’ days 🙂

  45. Mellissa says:

    I am HORRIBLE at relaxing. I think I would get an F in it, but my goal is try to and slow down.

  46. kate says:

    I try to keep a full day each week free so I can do whatever I want. Its glorious.

  47. LG says:

    I’m imagining all of the workers in fields during Biblical times, taking that day of rest each week even though it might have been harvest time. Even though the storm clouds could have been looming. Even though it must have been so inconvenient! But God provided for them.

    I sure notice when my whole weekend is taken up, even by fun things like events with friends. My husband and I try to leave at least 75% of Saturday or Sunday open for NAPPING, reading, puttering and having some quiet time. I hate feeling burnt out by Monday morning! But once in a while it still happens. yarg. God made us and He is so smart to know that we need rest!

  48. Mandy says:

    I’m totally with you! I have such a hard time just “sitting” and resting when there are things to be done! It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around that! But I agree with you that everyone needs to rest-and especially your mind! Thanks for the reminder!

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