Chanequa Walker-Barnes: The purpose of rest is to enable us to work more, right?

www.faithandleadership.com | 10/16/2018 | Staff
catcrazy24 (Posted by) Level 4
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I couldn’t move, it seemed. I was hungry and needed a shower, but I couldn’t force myself to get out of bed. It was as if somehow the blood coursing through my veins had been replaced with fatigue. I couldn’t even will my muscles to move. That would require communication between my brain and my limbs, and my brain was tired, too.

Three days prior, I had completed the final revisions for my book manuscript and sent it off to the publisher. I had been working on it nonstop over the summer, determined to get it done by the deadline. The fatigue constantly lurked in the background, but I urged myself to push through. I’d be on sabbatical during the fall semester, after all, and if I could just get this manuscript in on time, I could take some time off from work.

Plan - Nothing - Month - Work - Email

My plan was to do nothing work-related for a full month: no checking my work email, no starting a new project, no reading that was teaching- or research-related, no planning for new courses -- and absolutely no meetings. I just needed to push through a little longer.

Push through. It had been my internal mantra for the past few years, as I juggled a six-course teaching load, advising and mentoring students, writing my second book, serving on the leadership team for a new church plant, participating in an intense workshop on online pedagogy, working on reaccreditation, revising curriculum, and serving on boards and steering committees for ministry and academic organizations.

Time - Deadline - Obligation - Push - Break

Every time a new deadline or obligation imposed itself, I told myself to push through. Push through to winter break. Push through to summer. Push through to sabbatical.

Finally, the book was done. No more pushing.

Manuscript - Publisher - Laptop - Lights

After I emailed the manuscript to the publisher, I closed my laptop, turned off the lights in...
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