Paulelmo's Blog

All you can do is all you can do

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I have a friend who has been having this problem lately: He doesn’t know how to let himself relax. This man is getting along to 50–48 or 49 I think–and he works a solid 60+ hour work week. He takes care of everything within his purview, helping to care for his mother, maintaining his relationships, and taking care of the business of his life, which is all that can be expected of anyone.

Sure, he may not always get to everything that he would like to get to, but you know what they say: “Sometimes all you can do is all you can do.”

I think that statement is wrong. Why do we say that “sometimes” all we can do is all we can do? Always, all we can do is all we can do. My favorite sports quote is “Leave it all on the field.” I have to have faith that, if we do everything we can it will be enough.

So, this guy is in his late-40s, he works 60+ hours each week at a profession that will never be considered easy on the body, and on many Saturday nights when I see him he’s down on himself because he didn’t get around to much of what he had planned for the day.

In that situation, he’s focusing on the failure of not getting done what he had planned, and I think his failure is that he just planned too much.

We are not 22 anymore–good on ya, if you are; don’t waste it. We can’t go full-tilt like we used to for days on end and continue to bounce right back up to do it again. At some point, these these old carcasses just pipe up with a “While don’t you just cool those jets a bit, Jethro.” Sometimes the most important thing we can get done is rest. If we don’t take those few hours to rest and restore, we aren’t going to be fit to get back hard at that next 60 when it comes back up on Monday.

Tuesday is my Saturday, and I’m pleased to say that I’m pretty productive on Tuesdays; still, I’ve trained myself to be cool with it if I don’t get anything done. Whatever I get done on Tuesday, I don’t get it done until I’m rested and ready to get back at it. If I lay up until noon, I lay up until noon. I give my body all the rest it needs from the beating of the work week, and when I’ve done that I can look around to see what comes next.

So, you, friend, and anyone else who may need the hear this: Don’t forget to put rest on your To Do list. You may not be able to designate a specific time or day for that to happen; if you can’t, just listen to your body. When it feels like it’s inclined to go closer to the floor, let it. If you can’t do so right then, look for the opportunity for that to happen. I believe the up-time will be spent more productively if you do, and you’ll be easier on yourself.

Hope this helps.

Rest well, my friends.

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