Monday, May 6, 2013

The Art of Living Week 18: Pace Yourself

Pace Yourself

Last week, I met a woman who told me that she was just tired. I asked her to elaborate and she began to weep. She said she was tired at work and tired at home. She was just tired.

I knew and understood what she meant. My mother used to call it, “being sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

I felt for this woman, but I had to tell her the truth; her choices were making her tired but she could choose something else.

Life is hard, but it can be hard good or hard bad---pick good.

When I clean for an hour, I am exhausted. When I dance for an hour I am exhausted and exhilarated, so I dance while I clean.

My mother died at the young age of 87. No one ever guessed her age, not even when she was extremely ill. She always looked refreshed and renewed.

“That’s cause I know when to rest,” she would say.

People think that getting old gracefully is all about the genes, but I think it’s about the pace with which we live. If you are alive, then you are aging. Learn to pace yourself.

Yesterday, I got up early and got ready to work. I was tired and wanted to rest, but I pushed myself to fill my day off with the things I wanted and needed to complete.

I could hear my mother admonishing me about burning my candle on both ends. I could hear her saying that even iron wares out, and I could she her dancing.

Whenever we had a party, my mother would dance with every person there. She dance up to someone and with fingers popping, she’d ask, “You want some of this?”

Everyone marveled at her ability to dance all night, but I knew her secret; she had prepared all week for this one day of dancing and she paced herself through the dance.

My mother made it look like she was tearing up the floor, but in truth she was barely moving.

She knew how to pace her dance because she had learned to pace her life.

Yesterday, while I was scolding myself for being lazy, I recalled the fact that I had been working since I was 12.

I remembered the woman who cried out loud because she was tired and I recalled my advice to her, and I chose a path of rest.

Today, I am up and ready to work, but my work will be much better because of the rest.

If there were more than 24 hours in a day, many of us would kill ourselves. We don’t need more time, we need to learn to use the time we have more wisely.

Pace yourself and you will go much further.

Be you, be well, be wise.

Bertice Berry, PhD.


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