I was just off the phone with the insurance company who took my claim on a minor car accident that I was involved in. Feeling relieved, I was telling a friend of mine just how big of a weight off my shoulders it was to have my claim processed. It was then he looked at me straight in the eye and asked me what did I learn about the situation. My answer was to respond to his question, so I sheepishly replied: “I have to do a better job looking over my shoulder before I merge lanes?” “No,” he said, you need a rest.
Do I need a rest? Yes. I do need a rest, but where in the hectic life I live do I find rest? What even is rest?
Earlier this winter, my family and I planned a trip to New York City. This trip would be the most extended trip we had ever taken as a family, and the thought of it had me both excited and anxious. I could tell my anxiety was building in the weeks leading up to the trip. My mind was filled with “what ifs” and while a tiny part of my brain was telling me not to go and avoid the potential hazards, an overwhelming part of me was yelling at me to stop thinking that way. Growth comes from being uncomfortable.
Life is meant to be lived by experience, both positively and negatively.
Upon arrival in the most influential cities of the world, it didn’t take long before we realized that we would have to go with the flow or be run over. In a city of nearly 10 million souls looking to shave seconds off of their commute each day, reactionary movements would be required for survival; there is no time for thought.
This mindless situation was just the “rest” that I needed!
Rest? How can anybody rest in New York City? In the four days that we were there, we walked nearly 100,000 steps and moved approximately 60 kilometres. We were out the door every morning by 8 AM and didn’t get back to our hotel until 10 PM. At the end of each day, we came back exhausted.
I didn’t rest at all! But damn, I experienced life!
We all assume rest is taking a day or two, sitting on the couch and binge watching our favourite TV show. Others may find rest deep in the woods, sitting on the banks of a stream trying to catch a fish. Both of these are rest, but what kind of rest do we need?
Sometimes rest needs to be a distraction.
By getting away for a few days, I was able to lose my mind by staying in a continual flow of survival. I wasn’t concerned about my work, my house or my blog. I was only worried about crossing the street before that cab over there runs me over or finding a suitable spot to eat out of the thousands of options around us.
I was only concerned about just soaking up the moment.
When you are in New York City, you have no other option. Either you be present, or you die (figuratively of course, but again, those taxis are everywhere!).
Life is very much like New York City. It comes at you a mile a minute, forcing you into making split-second decisions. You will never survive a long prosperous life if you are dwelling on a past decision or worried about a future one. When you live a life cemented in the moment and practice doing so every day, then there is no way that you cannot be happy. Happiness is living in the moment, and I found my happiness in New York City.
The proof of my rest came in the numbers when I looked at my Fitbit history. My resting heart rate dropped from 51 on day 1 of my trip to 48 by the end of it.
I found peace by losing my mind in the hustle of New York City.