Finding Rest in the Mayhem: It Started with Stop Lights. . .

Finding Rest in the Mayhem: It Started with Stop Lights. . .

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It had been another seemingly non-stop day. The kids had been dropped off to the daycare, I’d attended my day’s classes at college, we had shopping to do, dinner to eat and then heading out the door to Wee College and choir. I was in the middle of a divorce situation so the lawyer called while I was trying to do homework, and then Mom called as I was making dinner.


I remember telling her I felt as if I couldn’t do this. My kids were 4 and 6 by this time, my son was in part-time kindergarten, so he had to be picked up during the shopping errands. My days felt non-stop and I was venting to Mom on the phone.

Her response? Look for the tiny moments when you can rest. When you’re out driving, take those 30 seconds at the stop light to take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Back then, traffic where I live was tamer than where I’d come from, so this more easily stepped into. But even in today’s busier and far crazier traffic, those 30 seconds are still available to grab a moment and let out a sigh.

It’s a perspective thing. Life is often quite full, and if you don’t learn to find the snippets where you can rest, your mind, emotions and body will begin to suffer the stresses of go-go-go.

I got so used to grabbing those seconds at stop lights, that whenever I get behind someone inching their way to the intersection precisely so they don’t have to stop, I get irritated. I NEED those times even now that my kids are grown. Back in 2010, my health began to noticeably deteriorate to the point where I was taking my first-ever mental health absences from work. We wouldn’t know till 2013 that I had developed adrenal fatigue through a near-mental breakdown when I fled my ex, 20+years of eating a low-fat diet to avoid gall stones and surgery, and how busy I liked to keep myself in general. I am a bit of a work-a-holic and sometimes have white-glove tendencies as well. I had to let go of the white-glove tendencies to raise my kids without going mad or sending myself to hospital. 2013 arrived and I realized I had to drastically slow down the pace. I couldn’t even work properly at that point.

Once again, those stop lights were extremely important to me. We need to find those moments when we can sigh, close our eyes a moment, and regroup. There are various ways to do this, and stop lights were an important step in the mindset shift for me. How have you learned to find those snippets of rest?

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