What do you do when you find yourself at such a stage of exhaustion that even the idea of taking time for Sabbath makes you tired? This question reminds me of water. I’ve heard it said that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. I believe this is the same with Sabbath and self care. By the time you realize you need Sabbath, you have actually needed Sabbath for quite some time.
I don’t lift this up to make anyone feel guilty. I lift this up to remind you to just start wherever you are. If you’re thirsty, you don’t gasp and moan about not drinking enough water and then not drink water. You start where you are. You grab a glass and you drink some water. If you want to make sure it doesn’t keep happening, you drink a little more water than you think you need, and then keep it up for a while. And if you really don’t want to make sure it happens again, you practice remembering to drink more and often. You might put some reminders and rituals in place to help you remember. You might even make new and different choices to ensure that you are drinking enough water.
So you’re exhausted? Our culture is really good at getting us there. We have almost as many reasons as excuses for why this is so. Maybe we can’t solve all of the issues of the world and get to why our culture is good at that and how we can change it and what we can do about it (yet). But you can just start where you are. Sit down. Close your eyes. Breathe. Take a nap without restrictions. Sleep. Grab a glass and drink that water.