Thanksgiving: Finding Rest When it Seems Impossible

thanksgiving-baby-photo

Happy Turkey Day! Or as I like to say, “Happy sweet potato casserole day!

This is our first holiday season as parents, so we’re in the midst of navigating the ins and outs of balancing travel with family, friends, nap time, and still squeezing in some time to rest and recharge. 

It seems like a distant memory that our norm used to be spending Thanksgiving week eating, watching movies, sleeping, and eating again. It’s surreal to think that Thanksgiving used to be, well, all about us!  Now, pretty much everything is about someone else…

Yep, 95% of the holiday now consists of 20 people sitting around, eating, talking about, and being entertained by a 20 pound little human at all times.  And we love it.  We’re so thankful to have family and so many friends that love on our little guy so much.  However, that doesn’t mean rest and recharging are out of the question.  In fact, I think it’s still a necessity!

So here’s what’s unexpectedly worked for me this week, thus far: taking 10-30 min to sit in silence.

I know this is quite literally impossible for those of you with your entire family tree in town, but I think for most, it’s more feasible than you think.  Kaitlyn has taken Ollie out with her a few times to meet a couple of friends since we’ve been on the road, which means I’ve had some unexpected time to myself.  Now I don’t typically utilize unexpected alone time well.  I usually spend the majority of it trying to decide what to do and then end up doing nothing.  But I’ve had to learn to take better advantage of this when I can. So this week, I’ve spent 10-30 min, a few times now, sitting in silence.  And the result: rejuvenation.

I know everyone relaxes differently, whether it’s going on a jog, watching a movie or game, talking with a friend, or even napping, but I think that silence is extremely underrated.  I’m going to sound like an old man when I say this, but especially within a culture that consists of constant stimulation, entertainment, and gratification, I think we overlook the value of turning everything off in order to just think, distraction free.

This can be done in a number of ways. Whether inside or outside; sitting and reading; just sitting; or sitting alone, listing to your baby’s sound machine (still counts as silence) for 30, 20, or even just 10 minutes.  The main thing is that you’re unplugged, no agenda.

I’m not saying that this will feel as rejuvenating as the days of spending 168 straight hours on the couch when you were home from college.  But I am saying that it will feel better than going 168 straight hours without taking a short 10 minutes to yourself.  There’s still time to be thankful and restful in the midst of chaos.

And for those of you, like me, with still just one little one crawling around versus four (or with none at all), I recommend taking your 10-30 minutes daily!

 

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