The Value of Rest - Kimberly Thompson


The past week was a bust. Instead of doing what I had planned, I spent it curled up in bed, battling a bad cold. It’s been frustrating.

I have spent the last few months reading, listening, and learning about the virtues of being a human being rather than a human doing. I have practiced being centered and letting go of control in many areas of life. But when it came down to it, I was still frustrated at being forced to take a break from all my activities.

Yet, I couldn’t reasonably be around people while I was sneezing and coughing at an alarming pace. Taking cold medication helped with that, but it kept me from driving, keeping appointments, and focusing on paperwork.

Food tasted like cardboard. The stuffiness in my ears prevented me from listening to music or podcasts. I felt lucky to be able to watch a little TV by turning up the volume and watching lips move. Sometimes even TV took too much concentration.

So I rested.

Somehow the world kept spinning while I was just a human being, not a human doing. There are also some things that I either learned for the first time, or came to know more deeply than I had known them before.


            Almost everything I have to say or do can wait. Any time I am tempted to just blurt out a difficult truth or to make a hasty decision — the pressure is coming from inside me, not because the circumstances really demand it.

            Good ideas need time to percolate. I couldn’t do much but think this past week, and I did a lot of it. I came up with some brand-spanking-new ideas and I developed some old ones. I also discarded a few that I had been toying with, as I realized they weren’t really viable.

            If I want to live my most authentic life, my center needs space to move and grow. By center, I mean my soul, my spirit, that source of “gut feelings” that guides me and keeps me on the road to my highest purpose. I need to spend time being with myself in quietness, so that my inner compass has the chance to recalibrate and point me in the right direction.

            My activity is not as indispensable as I think. I can become like a dog chasing its tail … going nowhere so, so fast. In quietness and rest, I sort out what is really important and what is simply being busy. My doing becomes selective and more effective.

Maybe this past week wasn’t so much of a bust after all. I’m already building more time into my calendar for rest – for simply being a human being. I’m sure it will be a lot more enjoyable when I’m not sick!


     I am Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. I work with mothers and their children to help them heal, grow, and live their most vibrant lives. My particular expertise is pregnant and postpartum women, and moms of “littles.” My book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, is available on Amazon and from Praeclarus Press. If you live within driving distance of Lubbock, you can work with me face-to-face; if you live anywhere else in the state of Texas, you can work with me via online therapy. Send me a message if you need more information, or call my office at (806) 224-0200 if you’re ready to book an appointment.