There isn’t much in this world that will stress me out more than a crazy busy schedule. When I say crazy busy, I don’t just mean there is something going on every day. No, I mean crazy busy schedule to the point that if you are more than 5 minutes off schedule the entire week may go awry.
Sarah and I had a moment in November when trying to schedule a flood of meetings that had recently arrived in our inbox. As we were talking through the last of 12 meetings, we realized we were scheduling them more than 2 months in advance! I don’t know about you, but that was a wake up call for me: we were TOO busy.
Being busy is so much a part of not only my personality, but American culture, that it is almost impossible to avoid. So how do we fight it?
Retreat, rest, and renew.
Take a step back, and look at the past. Sarah and I retreated to one of our favorite towns in West Michigan: Grand Haven. We found a great breakfast place (we MUST return soon), a coffee shop that let us hibernate in the corner until our budget was done, and a hotel whose staff scoured the hotel until they found a notepad big enough for Sarah’s dreams. BLESS!
Throughout the year, Sarah and I push forward. We go hard. We hustle. During our retreat every year, we make it a point to say no and to schedule time to detox from our busy schedules and rest. For me, that is at least an hour long nap in the middle of the day. For Sarah, that is a good half hour soak in a hot tub followed by some much needed magazine flipping.
Finally, before we were able to head back out into that crazy, busy world, we had to figure out how best to renew our energy for the year ahead. It can be hard to a whole year ahead of time, but Sarah and I have discovered that with a little wine, freshly manicured hands, and Snapchat Filters, we can take each task one at a time and even have some time to enjoy the ride along the way.
Here’s why it was helpful…
We worked, we relaxed, we dreamed, and we refreshed. We set aside time to get the boring administrative tasks done, but paired that with a time of goal reflecting and goal making, giving us a renewed spirit as we head into 2017. We were intentional with the time we had, and gave ourselves grace on what we didn’t have time to accomplish. We made sure we heard each other out and encouraged one another in dreams, goals, and obstacles to come. We also reminded ourselves of the importance of prayer and Sabbath – for without His help, our business and our plans really mean nothing.
When we returned from Grand Haven, Sarah and I felt so refreshed. We had celebrated our 2016 achievements, dreamed up goals for 2017, and set a real plan for how to reach those goals. And that is exactly why it so incredibly vital to take time for retreat. So retreat folks. Go back to your home base and look at your past year. Step back from your daily routine, reflect on the past, dream about the future, and get excited about the year ahead!
Cheers to all those hustlers who are ready for a refresher,
Photo Credit: Faithful Photography