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We've Got the Extra Day, But Do We Get the Extra Rest?

Memorial Day weekend in the United States signals a whole bunch of festivities: swimming pools open, ice cream stores roll up their shutters, pre-seasoned chicken wings and ribs go on sale and of course, American flags are hung to remember those who have fallen while protecting our nation.

It’s also the first real long weekend of the year in my opinion, since Washington’s birthday sneaks up on me and I’m still writing the year wrong on my notes, which makes it really a long weekend of the year before.


There’s a lot of anticipation for this weekend. I’ve gunned it through the cold weather and whatever challenges the first quarter and a half brought, so I feel like I deserve a little break by now. I see myself by a fire pit or maybe if I can get my act together the shore. I’ve already scheduled multiple meals with friends. Also, there’s an odd confidence brewing inside me that somehow I’ll magically tidy up my house -- donating all my outgrown clothes and books. Speaking of books, I’ll also have to catch up on and read all the books I’ve started that are piling up on my nightstand. Since it’s a long weekend, I know I’ll have time.

False, it never goes this way. But if this weekend goes like any other long weekends in the past, I’ll end up feeling more tired by Tuesday. And I know that I know why. I just don’t fix the problem of overscheduling activities that while fun, takes up energy.

Every interaction with other people or activity takes up energy. It’s just science -- we burn up calories (maybe not as much as we would hope to offset the cookies but whatever). How in the world do I expect myself to rest if I am jumping from activity to activity during my so called “restful” long weekend?  

I have to face the music and realize I cannot tick off all my backlogged to-dos and spend meaningful time with friends and family in a three-day weekend. Prioritizing and recognizing what I really have to, want to and need to do does not come naturally to me. So, I have to map it out and schedule. But one thing for sure that’s going to make it on my calendar is that I’m going to try to practice sabbath this weekend. Resting is important so I will start with a baby step, and schedule one hour to walk around my neighborhood and sit on my porch to read not all but at least one chapter of one book. That’s it.

This could look totally different for you -- maybe you’ll want to carve out two hours or a whole afternoon. Maybe this sabbath time will mean cooking or praying or exercising for you. Maybe it might just mean you get to sleep in for a little longer someday during this holiday or frolic in your own backyard. Take a look at our guide On Rest maybe it’ll give you some ideas.

Whatever your sabbath time will look like this weekend, I hope you’re looking forward to it. You can’t be the best self you can be without being rested. According to, the next time you might have this three-day weekend isn’t until July. So give yourself some actual rest.

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