Respite: A short interval of rest or relief

Ever faced with a great opportunity disguised as an impossible situation?

“Besides the noble art of getting things done,
there is the noble art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

– Lin Yutang

Most of the time, not much of what we are engaged in seems as if it is non-essential. Most times, we do not even question what we are doing or why, but simply accept it as just the way life is.

What if it were the reverse – what if “leaving things undone” took priority over getting things done. It sounds radical doesn’t it – if not lazy and foolish? Defenses immediately FLY UP to assure us that our hectic, perhaps unbalanced schedule is simply the way it is, has always been and the way it must continue to be.

When we find ourselves in a totally unexpected situation, for a while we are like Wily Coyote chasing the Road Runner. We speed off a cliff, hovering in mid-air with nothing beneath us, yet we remain stationary until we realize there is nothing there. We are standing on nothing and once that realization hits, we begin to fall.

On that fall, try to be aware of what you are seeing. Perhaps you are not falling down, but falling up instead. After all, anything is possible in the imagination. It’s like the map seen in classrooms, sometimes called the “upside down map” where North America, Europe, China and Russia are all at the bottom of the map, seemingly “upside down,” while South America, India and Antarctica appear at the top of the map. It is disconcerting to see it for the first time … and then one realizes that as an orb floating in space, planet Earth has no “real” up or down. Might it be the same for us as we ponder where we are – not up nor down, just simply in a place we have never seen before, never been before and never appreciated before!

– Connie Popp

Dr. Connie PoppDr. Connie Popp is a board member for The Center for Life Transitions as well as an active facilitator for the Center’s Life-SHIFT and Job Search Courage programs. She is also the Director of Campus Ministry at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Read more.