I went to New York City a few months ago. It was a spontaneous trip at a time that I desperately needed some adventure. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I decided to relive a trip to NYC that I did when I was just 17 years old. At 17 I was too young to book a hotel room, so I caught a bus overnight, arrived at 6am, walked around and conquered the city all day, before taking the 11:55pm bus home that same night.
It was gruelling, but my youthful energy and the excitement of such a trip kept me going. It was amazing and I saw so much, but I do remember getting home the next day and swearing to myself that I would never do it again. Well, I lied to myself and did it again. Time has a way of helping us forget, eh?
Like the first time, this recent trip was full of many sights and delights. Delicious food and delicious coffee filled me with joy! And also like the first time, I walked everywhere. I could feel my body gradually getting more and more sore as the day went on. It got so bad that it was nearly impossible to walk anymore. My feet were blistered, in pain, and useless.
I wanted to take in all that I could and make the very most of the day, which is not a bad thing at all, but I neglected my limits. I should’ve taken alternative forms of transportation, but there is something so special to me about being on foot and seeing the obscure areas off the beaten path. I didn’t respect the limits of my body and I paid for it with aches and pains for days.
Interestingly enough, it seems that I’m doing the trip yet again! Can you believe that? Isn’t there a saying for this? Perhaps fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times? Yikes. It’s not what you think though. I’m not doing the 37 hour NYC trip again physically, I’m doing it spiritually. It’s not tired legs and feet I’m dealing with, it’s a tired soul.
Lately it’s been go, go, go. I’ve been trying to do as much as I can, take in all that I can, and make the very most of everyday. In that, I’ve also been neglecting my limits. Instead of guarding my soul and my times of rest, I have been pressuring and pushing myself to my end — and it’s affecting every aspect of my life. Here I am achy and useless because I’ve pushed my limits, haven’t managed my time well, and haven’t guarded my soul properly.
Reflecting on this reminds me how often we take our souls on sprints to NYC. We want so badly to accomplish as much in life as possible. We want so badly to do every possible thing in life as quickly as possible. And we long to capitalize on every possible opportunity. These things are not always bad things, but they are not always what’s best. I know, personally, that I definitely take it too far sometimes.
We are all in very different situations and only you can discern within yourself if your soul is doing 37-hour jaunts to NYC, but I know one thing for sure — there’s no better feeling than a rested and content soul! It’s freeing and so, so satisfying. Guard yours and remember to take the time you need in order to find that rest and contentment!
Noticing some soul-blisters? What do you need to do today to adjust your pace so that you can stay within your limits? Take some time, reflect on it, and take action. You won't regret it!