July 27, 2009

Bridge of Sighs

There’s been a lot of heavy breathing around the Marantz household lately. And no, not like that. See, I’m talking about….sighing.

sigh: v. 1. To exhale audibly in a long deep breath, as in weariness.

syn: cry, complain, exhale, gasp, grieve, groan, howl, lament, moan, murmur, respire, roar, sob, sough, suspire, wheeze, whisper, whine.

To sigh. Le sigh. Ohhhhhh sigh.

And we’ve been doing a lot of it lately. I’m doing it. Justin’s doing it. Heck, even Julia’s doing it. And we knew things were really getting bad when Cooper started doing it.

See we’re a work hard, play hard kind of bunch. But the problem is, at the end of July (ok, can we just talk bout how the HECK did that happen) right smack dab in the middle of our busy season…..there’s been a whole LOTTA work and no discernable amount of play.

And it’s got us sighing. Exhaling audibly in long deep breaths, as in weariness.

Because here’s what happens when you’re all work, and no rest. Ready? Little things get you. They pile up on one another, so that even the smallest thing might be the straw that breaks your back. Because see, you’re already carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. So every email, phone call, and tiniest request seems like the last straw. Every to-do on your list, a hurdle you will never overcome. You take to eye rolling, and hunching your shoulders all the way up to your earlobes.

And you sigh.

Because that’s what we do. And then we work on…because who has time for rest. Right? We’re already drowning in work, and we’re supposed to stop working? We work 24 hours a day with work still to be done, and we’re supposed to somehow take an hour off? Nevermind, a day??

Well….simply put. Yes.

See, I was reading from my favorite book, Simple Abundance, this morning and this particular passage was calling to me. And I wanted to share it with all of you:

“Those of us who don’t spend regular time alone to rest and recoup are likely to suffer “privacy deprivation syndrome.” Symptoms include increasing resentment, mood swings, chronic fatigue, and depression. Sound familiar? Sound grim? It is! Sufferers struggle through their days in a vacuum of unfulfilled exasperation, only to drop into bed too emotionally depleted to sleep well at night. The littlest thing can set them off, bringing tears and tantrums…and not only from the children in the family!! Soon work and personal relationships begin to suffer. Why? Because the never-refreshed are really not that much fun to be around.”

Sound familiar? I know it does to me! And I know it does to a lot of us right now. The irony about taking time to rest when you have a lot of work to do, is that you actually end up getting more work done. Because you come back more focused, recharged, efficient. You can tackle jobs for the jobs that they are, rather than wasting a lot of time being overwhelmed by them. But when the pressure is on and the work is piling up, we just want to put our heads down and dig in…even if all the while, we’re digging in the wrong direction.

So today, on a Monday when most of the world is supposed to be working its hardest, I want to challenge you to find even an hour for yourself to take off and rest. Two, if you’re up for it! Quiet your mind, do something you love, make the time you always wish you had.

Because it just might be the best “work” you ever do.


  1. Christa

    Just being back from vacation I think I need this just to recoup from such a busy schedule :) Thanks for the reminder

  2. Amy Clifton

    I’m "off" today. THANK YOU for the reminder!

  3. michelle Sidles

    {sigh} you get me. ;)

    I had the awesome opportunity to spend the entire day saturday alone… in my house. :) I made bread. I puttered. I made dinner. Things that normally I find quite mundane became a huge restful gift because I finally had quiet time alone… something that’s been missing for a couple months now. :) Enjoy your down time.

  4. Bet

    From your blog to the hearts of readers. This is a wonderful post and I hope people take it to heart. I’m in the same boat a lot of the time and I owe the "quietly me" time to my husband who either shoves me out the door with my camera in hand or takes the guys out for the day and leaves me to blissfully soak in a tub.

    I do hope you’re enjoying your Monday!

  5. Gwendolyn Tundermann

    You couldn’t be more right! This is the third day in a row that someone has brought up the subject of exhaling. It was even yesterday’s message at church! On Saturday we took a much needed day off. Thank you for always reminding us to find balance between business and our personal lives!

  6. Vanessa

    You totally inspired me to take a 45 minute lunch break and play Mario Kart on the Wii :)

    I have been a lot more productive since I returned haha.

  7. Brendon

    I hope you guys find some time to relax. I can only imagine the insanity of your lives right now. :)

  8. nikki nicole

    it is so true … work up this am .. exhaused but so much to do and I called my bff and said .. girl i need a beach day! I am so ready to work now!

  9. Esther

    I used to be the same way…work, work, work and when I actually did have a moment to myself, I spent it thinking about work. JC taught me how to appreciate balance in my life (insert a sappy sigh here) and I now make sure to plan each day with at least an hour for myself. Even 6 weeks out from our wedding I’m happy and (mostly) stress-free! Enjoy your days off :)

  10. Nicole Haley

    Love this. Love it.

  11. Dawn McKinstry

    Oh, I totally agree, but too often I’m too busy to realize it.

  12. Feuza

    Should have read this post this morning, so true

  13. daria bishop

    Wow, how this post was sooo perfect for me at this moment in time!! What we do is so all-consuming it’s hard to juggle life and work. Thank you for posting this! Also, it was fun chatting the other day.

  14. Kathleen

    I am sister-friend to the word "workaholic". If every minute on my day is not uber packed, I feel like I am wasting time. It’s terrible! In order to stay sane and happy, I force myself to take a break, go to bed early, nap in the afternoon, or just sit and read. I feel really good afterwards! particularly in the middle of summer weddings:)

  15. maggie

    oh yeah – here I come my daisies, my phlox, my gladiolas, my blessed dahlias…"nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth"

  16. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    I think Cooper just felt left out …. poor fella wanted to be one of the fam w/ his sighs, too!

  17. Lyn Walkerden

    This is so very true and I am suffering badly from this syndrome. I heard something similar from a very wise woman the other day. She said that if we do not nourish ourself then we have nothing to give. If our own cup is empty then we will resent every little thing people ask of us because we are so depleted. When we truly nourish ourselves we are able to give only from the overflow so that we are never resentful. We can give with love!

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