I’m not quitting, I’m pausing.

Why does this world have such an issue with taking breaks? This is a question I didn’t consider until very recently. In a fast moving world where go go go is the norm, have we stopped believing that people need time to rejuvenate? I’m not saying that we are so selfless that we keep going even when we  need a break, not at all. On the contrary, I’ve found that this need to power through comes from a place of innate selfishness, but also from lack of empathy. This world is irritable. Whenever anything is inconvenient to us we snap or tut in contempt; and people’s well being seems to be an inconvenience for too many people.

So back to my original point; taking breaks. I think it is a common misconception that taking a break from something, a career, a degree, a relationship, is the cowardly way of quitting. A break is simply that; a break. Sometimes what we lack is perspective of a situation. When you get too close you can no longer see anything for what it is, and I have continually missed the forest for looking at the trees so I know a little something about lack of perspective. In my opinion, and you can take it or leave it, you cannot continue along a path if you have no perspective of the whole journey. I’ve become a sucker for this metaphor; I’m walking along a path because I started walking of my own accord. I had a purpose when I started. Should I continue even if I can’t remember that purpose? Should I continue just because if you start you’re under a moral obligation to finish? But who is this obligation to? What happens when, on this path, I begin to feel my ankles weighing, my arms tiring and my brain no longer able to motivate me? I do what is ‘right’ I power through this. At the end of the day what’s the worst that can happen? I might be in pain now but it’ll all be worth it right? I’ll get to the end of the path, which is what I wanted, I can’t remember why but I know I wanted it once, if I started I intended to finish so I need to keep going no matter how I feel, right? Let’s flip this around: what happens when I break my leg halfway through my journey and can’t walk anymore? Would I be expected to continue when I was obviously physically incapable? I would probably be permanently disabled if I kept going when I wasn’t able. Are you seeing where I’m going with this? Just because it isn’t a physical injury doesn’t mean you don’t need recovery. I tried it your way society, I kept walking when I knew my body needed rest and now my leg is broken. Well now it’s time for me to heal.

 

Maybe the best way to achieve your goals is to stop trying to achieve your goals for a little while. There is nothing wrong with taking some time to remember why you started. There’s nothing wrong with hitting pause until you’re strong enough to continue. What’s the hurry? Do it quickly or do it properly? I know which one I prefer.

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