Recharge: Confessions of a busyness junkie.

I have limits. I run on batteries and I occasionally have to recharge. This semester I 57 students how to read and write, my mom died, my principal resigned, 4 teachers were let go mid-year, I took 10 hours of graduate work, and my friends depression and anxiety were extra needy. The sad part is my limit was reached at teaching students how to read and write, but this busyness junkie could not find his fix. I refused to rest or accept the fact that my body and soul were exhausted. I would find rest at the end of the school year.

My school year concluded this past week, so naturally my recharging commenced following the final student exiting the building, wrong. Instead I feel as if I am a cell phone in battery save mode with a broken charger. I am dim, slow in moving, but feel as if I am to still function as an entity that is fully charged. You see these are symptoms of busyness junkie.

I can’t shut off busyness. My amygdala firing with made up deadlines, and turning leisure into actions of must dos, is leaving my finite body gasping for rest. Oh, precious rest. Yet I find myself doing anything to fill my time.

Why is that? You ask.

Rest: The World’s Idea

For a 190 days a year I teach. I teach strong, intelligent students who are also at times exhausting and capable of making really bad decisions. My colleagues, like my students are strong and intelligent and prove to help children grow in intellect and character every second of the school day. However, it seems there is always more work to be done. Test scores are never high enough. The school is constantly talking about teacher proficiency and funding attached to success, and students still struggle no matter how masterfully content was taught. Stressful.

These 190 days cause enough duress, but no one is simply a teacher. Each teacher is a sum of many titles; mom, dad, triathlete, gradschool student, son, daughter, husband, wife, deacon, elder, writer. The list can go on and on, and the world tells us that we are to just keep going. Rest and recharge is for when we die.

This mantra is not exclusive to education. From a barista at Starbucks to a CEO of a fortune 500 company. Rest and recharge have been branded as weak. All humans need to do is reach deeper, get more education, eat healthier. The result of this narrative is people half-assing everything, talking big, working little, and tirelessly constructing an allusion of a driven world changer who secretly can’t even change themselves let alone an entire planet.

The Alternative:

“There is something deeply spiritual about honoring the limitations of our existence as human beings… There is something about establishing rhythms that are gracious and accepting of human limits that allows us to be gracious and accepting with others. There is an energy that comes from being rested that is different from the energy that comes from being driven.” — Ruth Haley Barton

Rest, I have limits. I can’t do this. I am not sure if I have the skill set to fix this problem and I do not have the capacity to learn the skill. If you are a busyness junkie, like I am, each of the previous statements are unnerving. Our capacity, our ability, our aptitude for pushing limits are the substance to our human shell. Unfortunately, with my capacity, my ability, and my aptitude being the cornerstone of my personhood I am nothing more than hologram that glitches every few seconds.

I have found that I must be a person known less for my drive and more for my rest. The world needs less holograms and more souls filled with energy that comes from rest and recharge.

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