The Rhythm of Rest

I could not do one more thing. Well, of course, I could, but I would have done the next thing without focus or interest, inspiration, or energy.

The week had been full . Full of good interactions and scattered with productive writing time, but I was done, even cranky. Perhaps it was the unrelenting cold or the unrelenting pandemic, but I sagged and slumped.

Enter my Word of the Year: Rhythm.

Most of my weeks have a defined, steady rhythm. We begin the week attending church and adult forum, followed by going out for lunch where we read the New York Times. Early in the week I write both Tuesday and Thursday posts for this blog, and I prepare for the writing group I facilitate Thursday mornings at church. I tend to do the week’s grocery shopping that morning, too. Usually, on Friday or Saturday, my husband and I plan an outing–get in the car and roam.

The weeks vary depending on appointments with my spiritual direction clients and if one of the writing groups in which I am a participant is scheduled, and, now and then, there is time with friends or family. And, of course, there are the usual tasks–the laundry, the emails, the bills, the meal preparation, the home-tending. Oh, and writing time. This past week I worked on a piece to submit to a publication that has published my work in the past.

I begin my day meditating, praying, and writing in my journal, and later, I try to leave my desk by 4:00, giving myself some space to read before fixing dinner. In the evening we binge watch something on Netflix or Amazon Prime (Right now we are watching season 11 of “Vera” on BrittBox.) and read before going to bed.

By and large, these are good rhythms, but my word of the year invites me to pay attention. What rhythm calls me right now? What is the rhythm my body needs? My soul needs? Rhythm summons me to listen to my own heartbeat.

Instead of pressing on determined to check more off a list that seems to grow when my head is turned, I took a deep breath and asked, “What rhythm wants to be heard right now?”


I turned off my computer, left my desk and the garret, even though it was hours before my normal 4:00 leave the office time, and I nestled in the snug with book, blanket, and a mug of hot cider. I read and I dozed. I listened to the rhythm pulsing gently around and through me, and I restored. And I gave thanks for being at a stage of life when it is possible to respond to rhythm’s invitation.

I know, appreciate, and allow my own rhythm. Each day I take some time to be in my personal rhythm.

Sue Patton Thoele

An Invitation: Do you have a word of the year? If so, how is it present in your life? I would love to know.

3 thoughts on “The Rhythm of Rest

  1. I’m so glad you wrote this, Nancy. I am finding that some days I just “crash.” Now I know I’m not alone, but adapting to a new “rhythm” which in my 70’s I must honor, respect and “listen” to. Thanfully, I am able to muster up some energy after that reprieve….but it’s humbling, I must admit.


  2. Pingback: The Days’ Rhythms | Living on Life's Labyrinth

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