Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I learned from wiping out on the sidewalk

A lot of the leaders that I'm friends with admit to me that they are really guilty of not taking their day off every week.  Wisdom dictates that leaders pace of themselves and allow time for refueling and nourishment of our body and soul.

I learned this lesson in a painful way last Saturday. I'm not even going to post a picture of the aftermath of this because quite honestly it will gross you out.  I did reveal the injuries to my friend Candy and her repulsed reaction gave me pause to think about sharing an illustration photo with the blogosphere.

I woke up on Saturday, ate breakfast and rode my bike. Then I set about working around the house. After doing housework I went outside to the yard. During the hottest part of the day I worked for many hours, weeding and other things.



I skipped lunch.

I drank a small cup of water, which any rational thinking person would have realized was not enough. 

I was tired, hungry and thirsty, but addicted to accomplishment. I would finish a section of the yard and think, "one more thing"... and take care of that. When I was done with the one more thing, I'd talk myself into just one more thing. And on it went. 

When it was early evening, my husband came out and suggested I come inside, get cleaned up and we go to dinner. We were going to one of my favorite places, Vallartas, for Mexican fare.

I knew he was ready for dinner, not to mention I was absolutely famished so I came in and quickly showered and got ready to go. All was well until we were walking in the parking lot (still in the Florida heat - the sun had not set yet) and as we approached the door to Vallartas... splat!!! There I went, down on the sidewalk.

Yes, I'm serious. I am usually holding Larry's hand on these occasions but at that moment I wasn't. He helplessly watched as I went tumbling forward and lost control,banging myself up pretty good.  

I know this about myself. I know that I can't go all day without eating and not feel at least a little shaky. And certainly I can't stay out in the heat all day and not drink anything. What in the Sam Hill was I thinking?  That was insane.

So my knees were totally scraped up and bleeding and I was laying there. Larry helped me to a bench outside the restaurant and, got me a tall glass of ice water. After drinking about 32 ounces of water, and eating some chips and salsa, I was okay again.  Thankfully I keep things like wipes and bandaids in my purse. (The kids always tease me about how EVERYTHING is in my purse. Dustin even did a skit at church once about "everything that can be found in my Mom's purse." Just want to point out, all the things I have in there do come in handy.)

The point of this post is that many times as leaders we get addicted to progress and talk ourselves out of rest. We keep going just one more hour or one more day or one more week without a rest, because so far we haven't crashed.


 We put our Sabbath day off for things we think are more important than rest.  All the while many of us are dealing with people in crisis. If anyone needs to make sure they are replenished, it's crisis caregivers.  But we think, "so far, so good" and  talk ourselves into giving up our sacred time for replenishment in order to accomplish that one more thing. If we're not careful we'll have a spiritual, emotional and physical splat on the sidewalk.

My boo-boos are slowly healing up but are still so sore. I have been reminded all week long of why I'm never going to go that long without replenishment again! And I'm applying it to the other aspects of my life as well. 

Being sidewalk pizza is not fun. Not fun at all.


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