Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Autumn at the ocean

September is the beginning of our favorite time to visit the Oregon coast. Saltwater and sunshine and sandy feet combine in an alchemy of pure joy. The winds are slow and so is time.
This particular September we are choosing rest. Is this possible in the midst of ballet, tap, jazz, modern, Guys and Dolls, piano, voice, sewing... farm work... and schoolwork? I submit that it is possible. At least it's worth trying.

Dear Mr. Suite and I talk a lot about finding balance. He runs an engineering business and serves as a planning commissioner for our county government. He fences (and re-fences) and hauls hay and fixes the farmhouse. I teach school to five students of hugely varied learning styles and giftedness and I keep the house (mostly) and garden (sadly small this year but still) and meals and carpool schedule. I also write grants for a few non-profits and squeeze in the occasional writing and photography that fills my heart. So there's that.

Our teens are intensely involved in community and children's and public school theaters. They dance at two different studios that are 25 miles apart. One is dedicated to ballet and one loves modern and tap. One is training horses and dogs and one is showing rabbits. Our younger children have pets and piano lessons and passions of their own. The Lego budget. The book budget. The gas budget. 

And the time and energy budget. I'm just saying.
We used to have an unofficial family motto, spoken somewhat in jest: "Work hard, play hard." Most famously, my exceedingly hardworking husband once declared in a time of exhaustion, before a 9-hour-drive to see a baseball game: "We. Will. Recreate."

In a slight divergence from that I propose: "We. Will. Rest."

We will rest in the moments between tap and rehearsal. We will rest in the knowledge that a great thirst for knowledge and discovery is a much better educator than is a proficient lecturer. We will rest and realize that sometimes good enough is truly enough, that perfectionism is a pit that separates us from joy and from others. We will rest knowing that the waves come in, the waves go out. The wind calms in autumn.

And there is a season for rest.

How do you find rest? Is it a principle or a practice? Or both?