How I Am Learning to Pace Myself in the New Year

Pace was my word for 2018.

I read somewhere recently that there are two types of people. Those who live and die by their To-Do lists. They are constantly frantic and anxious. And those who live in accordance with rhythms. People who live in rhythm are more filled with peace, no matter what is happening around them.

Perhaps rhythm is the word I was looking for to determine my pace.

Naming pace as my 2018 word made me recognize how I tend to want to do ALL the things and all of them right NOW! Why do I not notice that I can prioritize? That me saying, “I’m not going to do this right now.” is not the same as saying, “I am not going to do this ever.” Some things that I need to prioritize are fun things for me like having coffee with a friend. Others are more required things like making specialist appointments for Nathan. It is hard to prioritize because everything with Nathan’s medical needs feels urgent. And paying attention to my pace makes me realize I can’t live my life under the whole “tyranny of the urgent” philosophy or I will burn out quickly.

Living life in rhythm feels more natural.

It feels like my body, my mind, my soul move the way I was meant to move. There is a cadence, a pace that is guided by something greater, something outside of me. Like a musician allows a metronome to set the beat of the music, so should I allow God to establish the rhythm of my soul. 

Our Lord establishes rhythms.

He establishes the rising and the setting of the sun. The tide going up and down. The day becoming night. The changing seasons. The summer turning cooler to fall to colder yet. He causes things to die in the frozen ground, to become alive again with the thaw and hope of spring. He guides us in each different stage of life. Through our youth as we wrestle for independence. Eventually a more mature version of us emerges to care for little ones now dependent upon us.

When I think of my life in rhythms, I see the patterns and colors of different circumstances. Whether through a period of light or darkness, the rhythm is there like a steady beat of background music. Not like the loud demanding To-Do List that threatens to judge me according to what is crossed off. The rhythm God establishes is soothing and restful at times and upbeat and convicting at others. In turbulent waters it is steady for He alone is my anchor. I don’t want to make the rhythm to go away like I do my big loud To-Do list.

And that is how I’ve tried to live my year, because it is how I was made to live. Keeping pace with the Spirit. Not cowering to my lists. Maintaining a steady pace has meant that I have let go of major projects. I have listened to the limitations of my body. I have embraced the needs and desires of my family.

So instead of choosing a new word for the new year, I’ve decided to listen more to the Word of God and the rhythms of His grace. 

Happy 2019! 

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!

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