Lean in

A few years ago, I came across this delightful article,  Leaning Back, about the merits of doing less in The Economist.

To think that there may be financial gain, not loss or trade-off, by doing less is intriguing.  It is particularly useful for me to think about this as I am fully immersed in my "busy season".  As the demands for my time is ratcheted up in every aspect of my life, I must discern how to spend the precious resource of my energy.

I also like this idea because in recent years I've been putting in a whole lot of effort and leaning or resting has not been happening with a regular enough frequency. The once bottomless reserve of energy has been dwindling and the gauge is just above empty.

I also read the book Lean In about taking our place as women leaders in business.  It encourages women to put their resources towards building healthy relationships and reliable childcare (easier said than done) to enable themselves to take a full seat at the negotiating and business tables.  In my view, leaning in, is another way of resting. Freeing ourselves up from guilt to remove barriers to us to do what we do best, whatever that may be.  I don't mind working hard, but when everything is effort and hard, the joy of working diminishes. And of course this is all from a very particular perspective that does not address systemic inequalities that limit our access to affordable childcare and equal division of labour at home.

A few months ago, I started re-evaluating my exertion vs. my rest and decided that after my walk to work I would take the elevator up the one floor to my office.

I realize it is a bit ridiculous to take the elevator only one floor, but I cherish those 30 seconds. I lean against the wall and take a deep breath or two before I start my day. Instead of struggling to begin my day, I have decided to take a few seconds to rest instead.

I have also decided to lean on my family and friends more.  And you know what? That's an even better, more rewarding way to rest than leaning into an elevator wall. However, it was that elevator that first got me thinking, take it, take a rest. Lean into it.