Should you be better by now?


My 94-year old, go-getter Grandma was in the hospital recently. When she got out, I called to say we were coming for a visit. Since we were coming about lunchtime, I asked if she wanted us to wait until she ate lunch at the retirement place or to go out. She practically shouted, “Go out!” I ask Mom if that was OK and she said Grandma had already been out multiple times.

It was a week after she got out the hospital that we came into town.  As she was getting out of the car and needing help, she complained that she was moving so slowly after the hospital stay. I laughed and told her to give herself time to recover.

We don’t like how long many things take. We start shoulding quickly.

I should be better from this illness.

I should be over this breakup.

I should have stopped grieving by now.

Or shouldn’t.

I shouldn’t need these many breaks.

I shouldn’t need so much sleep.

I shouldn’t need this much downtime to recover from an event.

I think part of the reason so many people are overwhelmed, tired and cranky is they don’t allow themselves adequate recovery time. We tend to want to hurry the process. We stuff down feelings and fatigue. We honor ourselves for “pushing through.” We read up on the average recovery for surgery and even though we aren’t fully better we go full throttle.

We need to honor the time it takes for us as unique individuals. Introverts tend to need more alone time. Highly sensitive people need more quiet. Certain people need more fun in their lives to retain joy. Emotions need to be felt by everyone.

What if you planned twice as much downtime as you think you should need? Or planned just three evenings away from home instead of every evening?

The only way to truly know what you need is to pay attention. What are you feeling? Are there still some emotions that need cared for? What are your energy levels? If you can’t push ahead without a caffeine burst that lets you know you need to slow down – maybe walk in nature instead. Or read a book for a few minutes. Step away from the technology.

Most of us don’t like requiring recovery time, especially when it lasts longer than we think it should.  But, we become more energetic, loving and creative when we allow that time.

What are you trying to push through or push past right now? What is one way you can give yourself that time?



If you need help changing your mindset with time, join my Change Your Relationship to Time class.



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