A New Year can offer new beginnings, although you don’t have to wait until New Year’s Day to make positive change in your life. I began my new year a bit early and in a very positive way – I became united in marriage with my love on December 28th. We went on a cruise to the eastern Caribbean for our honeymoon afterward. Neither one of us had been on a cruise before so we thought we would give it a whirl. I must say that as nice as it was, I don’t think we are the “cruising type”…whatever that means!? The ship was absolutely amazing and there were plenty of things to do and EAT, but something about it didn’t quite fit our active personalities. Sure, there was a rock-climbing wall, a surfing simulator, basketball court, workout facility, and much more but it still wasn’t “our thing.” Of course, we managed to partake in most of the activity and had a spectacular time exploring the islands. We even did some snorkeling with the sea turtles, which was magnificent. OH… and did I mention the food?
Yes, I keep bringing up the food but holy moly, I couldn’t believe how many people had eyes bigger than their stomachs. They say that the average weight gain for a person who spends a week on a cruise ship is 14 pounds. 14 POUNDS!!!! Yowsa. It’s no wonder with a 24/7 buffet available that includes an assortment of high-calorie, high-carb, and high-sugar options. The wrong foods are SO addicting and people kept coming back for more. I know personally, my body was begging for kale and spinach when I got off the ship. Here’s a tip…take a pre-washed bag of kale and spinach with you and a nutribullet (or something similar) if you go on a cruise. Take fruit, nuts, and other veggies available at the buffet and take them to your room to make a smoothie. We did still enjoy the salad bar daily!
I think the hardest part in the beginning of our trip was unplugging from everything – the phone, social media, blogs, clients, and other work-related activity. You may have noticed that I didn’t blog or do any social media for a couple of weeks. My husband and I are usually in “productive mode” so it took a couple of days to decompress and just relax…I mean FULLY relax. With that said…once we both experienced full and complete relaxation with zero distractions it was the biggest blessing we could have asked for. Remember in December, I encouraged you to “unplug?” Well, you and I both know that “unplugging” happens only when we unplug from EVERYTHING not just from one form of communication. I now understand why Jesus went away from the crowds and “unplugged” so he could hear from God and regain his strength and peace of mind. Unplugging from the rest of the world allowed us to experience the same and enjoy quality time together.
Have you ever gone on vacation and wanted to just sleep the entire time? I’ve heard people tell me that vacation is where they “get caught up on their rest.” Well, my husband and I saw people lying around all over the ship on lounge chairs…sleeping! It made me sad on one level and happy for them on another. As a culture, we tend to go…go…go on a daily basis and tend to collapse at any chance of downtime that comes our way. It’s believe it’s time to reclaim our balance of work, play, and rest! Years ago, before electricity, people went to sleep after working longs days in the fields, cooking and cleaning, teaching, and other trades shortly after the sun went down. The sun was their natural guide to day and night…work and sleep! Now we stay up all hours stimulated with “fake light,” and immersed in TV, computers, video games, etc. Not to mention, we are seated most of the day and don’t activate our bodies as much as we should– doing very little physical labor. That’s a whole different topic and one that begs for it’s own blog!
What my husband and I experienced on the ship was a reminder for us to rest and rest fully – unplug and get recharged. God even rested on the seventh day after creating the earth and everything on it, declared it holy and saw that it was good! God didn’t need to rest, but He rested as a way to lead by example. We need to rest too! I encourage you to take a day of rest every week and I commit to doing the same. I always thought I rested well until I was “forced” into being unplugged completely…now I know the power behind it. It’s a really good thing! We will all have more energy to do what we are called to do in the days and weeks ahead. When I got back from the honeymoon – I had a better mindset, more energy, creativity, and excitement about life!
I’m super stoked about 2014 and I hope you are too! Work hard, play hard, and REST HARD! That’s my new motto. Rest once a week along with an intentional “unplug” of 2-3 days every quarter. Who wants to join me? Comment below and let me know what your intentional plan is to unplug in 2014.