When to Stop

In my last post I wrote about a field hockey-like attitude to getting things done. In reality, continuing on like that ensures that exhaustion will set in eventually. For those of us who pride ourselves on productivity, it is so very hard to sit still. I’ll go up to rest in my room and after 25 minutes I am reorganizing my closet. But sometimes I do hit the proverbial brick wall.

It happened a couple days ago, and I realized that to a certain extent, I probably developed auto-immune conditions and cancer because I never slowed down. One good and very young friend asked me about a decade ago, “What are you chasing?” I shirked it off, as I was chasing nothing but dreams and a good family life. But over time I saw that he was right–in doing too much I was avoiding something. And not only that, I was not living in the moment. Life was rushing by.

When our identity is so wrapped up in a specific concept, it is worth pondering. Earlier in my life it was important to be very nice. In my twenties I realized that I had co-dependent tendencies. I had to learn that while a default smile is fine, it is not my duty to ensure others’ happiness. I became so sensitive to it that I sacrificed my own peace for that imagined responsibility. It wasn’t an either/or issue. I enjoyed being a nice person; but I went too far.

A friend of mine was a driven runner. When he sustained an injury, depression set in. He later told me that the depression had always been under the surface. While exercise was a very good thing for it, he overcompensated and became compulsive. His body got hooked on the “runner’s high.” He avoided working on the issues around his depression until that injury stopped him.

There is a balance to be sought in most aspects of life. A balance in work and recreation, a balance in exercise and food. The Bible advocates for moderation (Philippians 4: 4-8).

Is there any area in your life in which you need to ponder moderation? Are you running from anything? Don’t wait until you are injured or ill to work on important issues and to develop your inner strength.


Yes, Mom of ten, plus. Ten of our own, host-Mom of foreign exchange students and au pairs, and other wonderful young men and women. The latter were the direct influence of our special needs daughter, Mary Pat, and they have blessed us in innumerable ways. Past prime is okay; so many life experiences cause one to reflect on things learned and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

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