1.14.2010

Days of Rest


The last several weeks have reminded me vaguely of raft guide training.

Learning to guide a raft through whitewater involves a lot of things: studying interesting scientific concepts like ferry angles, trying to climb a rope in deep water onto an upside-down rubber boat, swimming an ice-melt rapid on a 45-degree day, exhilaration, fun, and thorough panic. I enjoyed it, and I never want to do it again.

I made a big mistake during raft guide training, though, and it contributed to my finishing out the season with anxiety issues. Everybody told me "Take a day off." My boss recommended it, multiple times. But I worked two jobs and did guide training on the weekends, and apparently had some sort of need to prove to the world that I was Supergirl. In the end, I only managed to prove to myself that we mortals ought not give ourselves to work seven days a week, especially not when part of that work requires any sort of intensive effort. It is incredibly hard on the mind.

I've found it too easy to tell myself that writing could not have the same effect on me. I love writing. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like work, and it definitely doesn't feel like thinking about what a low-head dam can do to a boat full of people. So if I pull up my computer and put a few hours into my story on Sunday afternoon, it won't hurt my week, will it?

Oh yes, it will. And I made the mistake of doing that very thing, several weeks in a row.

A lot of the Old Testament confuses me, even after years of study, but the fact that "Keep the seventh day as a holy day of rest" got into the Ten Commandments makes vast amounts of sense. Though I take Sunday instead of Saturday, I need the day of rest for sanity, and even for the sake of my work; the short break gives me a better perspective on my projects, as well as stronger mental and creative powers.

Starting with last Sunday, then, from henceforth I take my day off every week. It's good for me.

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