It’s a bank holiday weekend, an extended break between working weeks, so how apt is the Five Minute Friday prompt ‘Pause’. http://fiveminutefriday.com/2018/05/24/fmf-link-up-pause/
I’ve recently finished teaching another fatigue management course, where this has been a key feature. We talk about the 5Ps of Fatigue Management, one of which is Pacing: the importance of building in breaks before you run out of energy completely, which may enable you to get more done in the long run.
But the course itself is a moment of pause for its attendees. Too often in life, when we are faced with ongoing stress (in the case of my patients, the effects of a life limiting illness), we go into ‘auto pilot’ and end up even more exhausted. Couple that with an expectation that we should be able to function at the same level of intensity and quality no matter what our circumstances, and it’s a recipe for guilt and frustration as well.
So the course gives people a chance to stop and ask questions about whether they are prioritising what really matters to them, as well as giving them practical techniques to do so. They may not change what they are doing but the important thing is that they paused and made an active choice.
And that’s the thing about pausing, isn’t it? There’s the ‘stop the world I want to get off’ pause (as my dad used to call it) that we cry out for when our lives become too overwhelming. There’s the enforced pause when illness or grief or disaster halts us in our tracks.
And then there’s the chosen pause: the holiday; the lunch break; the closing of the computer to play a mad game with the children; the morning moment in the garden soaking up the sound of birdsong before starting the daily routine; the time set aside to spend with our Heavenly Father.
Chosen pauses make a difference. We need their punctuation in our lives. We need the rhythm that they bring, to recognise and appreciate the natural ebb and flow, light and shade that enrich life. How the crescendo would be diminished without that pause before the final Hallelujah in Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus!
We need pauses. We need to choose to stop, breathe, and refocus for a moment or a day or longer. We may even need those enforced pauses to remind us Who is really in charge. And when, facing the frustrating slowing down as we near the denouement of our lives, we need to remember that it may just be the pause before the ultimate crescendo in Heaven.