My new four-letter word

Image description: Four green letter tiles spell out the word REST against a white background.
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

It’s been a weird two and a half years. I say that because my 2020 started with a wicked snow hurricane, and it just carried on from there. It’s also been a busy time even with the pandemic. Lots of family responsibilities, some new adventures (hello beautiful greenhouse!), and a few undesirable results of getting older (back again, wonky hips?).

I like coming up with ways to keep myself focused. I used to do it while studying (cramming) for exams in university and later when I needed reminders of anything I didn’t want to forget. Lately, I have become delighted with the alarm function on my phone and I made a novel discovery I could use actual songs from playlist to sound the alarms instead of the preset list of ring tones. If you hear Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill, that would be my reminder to do my piriformis stretches.

I got into doodling during the pandemic and found it a great way to track key insights from meetings. I give nicknames to my warm up exercises (I startled my trainer once when I asked them to check my form on the waitress exercise, so called because I felt like one holding a tray up high while balancing on one knee).

Mneomics is what they call these tips formally — they can be pictures, songs, acronyms — whatever helps you retain and retrieve information. I was chatting with a colleague and she commented about a discussion they had concluded at work, saying she hoped “they would give it a rest.”

Now you wouldn’t think an idiomatic expression would prompt a rethink about priorities, work-life balance, and so on, but it did. A rest is a pause, a space in which one refreshes, recovers, rejuvenates. If you give something a rest, you are suspending the discussion, allowing space for something else to move in.

I decided I need to give things in my life a rest too by elevating the things that matter. The next half of the year starts in two weeks and my focus is going to be on REST — Reclaim, Exhale, Stretch, and Time.

I’m going to reclaim my head space by reading more books and making more things. I’m going to focus on exhaling, remembering to breathe, focusing on deliberate movement, and maybe, just maybe starting meditation. I’m going to stretch more, and not just my body, but my mind as well. It’s good to challenge old ideas and try new things. Finally, I’m going to make time for fitness a bigger priority in my weekly calendar.

REST. I think the next six months are going to be good.

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