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A Day of Rest

Father Daughter time is essential for the Iler family.

I am not sure about you, but now that we are beginning to settle back into routines of post pandemic life. . . we are busily moving in our household. There are alarm clocks again, appointments to be made, household chores to complete outside of the house, work and projects that require a lot of time, and the list goes on.

After working 12 hour days for almost 3 days straight , Scott and I agreed we all needed a moment of rest as a family. Although our girls are older and more self sufficient, there is that maternal instinct that tells me when it's time to rest and connect with my family. I was able to finish work around 1 pm on Sunday and we quickly packed our bags and escaped to the beach.

Salt water baths do amazing things for the mind and body. We raced down to the water’s edge, plunged into the 75 degree water, and floated over the breakers. It immediately reset my brain and I could think more clearly. My senses were awakened, we giggled as we attempted to body surf through the waves, and the salty breeze brought us all back to our core. All of us had some escape time, much needed from a 10 year old brain to a 48 year old brain.

These moments of respite as a family can be fewer as your children grow up. When they are babies, it is easier to pack the car, whisk everyone away, and go for a picnic. As they grow up, there are activities and responsibilities that each individual in the household may have. I remember my mom and dad telling me stories of when they grew up, what Sundays were like for them.

Their focus was attending church as a family, enjoying breakfast at a restaurant, and playing with the neighborhood kids or a family get together all afternoon. My mom would tell me that you couldn’t even get fuel for your cars on Sundays. The local gas stations were closed to observe this day of rest. Both of my grandpas worked long days, multiple jobs, but in the 1950s, there was no negotiating if Sunday was a day of rest, it just was.

Traveling to other parts of the world, I also can recall that Sundays are sacred in many other countries. Restaurants would be closed, markets would have signs that say “We return Monday morning”, and fewer people would be seen at the town squares on this day.

As I researched different countries stances on a day of rest, I came across the

“European Sunday Alliance (ESA), a network of more than 100 national Sunday Alliances, trade unions, employers' organizations, civil society organizations, churches and religious communities committed to raise awareness of the unique value of synchronized free time for our European societies.

The focus on giving individuals this time with their family, personal down time is definitely an Alliance that I would want to be a part of.

Admiring the cloud formations at Lydgate Beach, Kauai.

Regardless of religious beliefs, let’s be honest. It would be lovely if we could reclaim one day of rest per week. I feel so thankful that Scott and I have the flexibility to choose a day of rest with our work schedules. For many individuals, it might be an afternoon or an evening of rest.

Whatever it is, snatch it. We, as humans, need rest as much as we need cardio exercise.

Peaceful moments, time to think, time to hear the natural noises around us, time to eat an ice cream cone with little ones, or a chance to laugh with your loved ones. . . this is all good for the body and soul.

In our home, we have made Sunday mornings, a fun, out of the box, breakfast routine. We choose a different recipe to make that will take some time. From waffle bars, to pumpkin themed breakfasts, we try to pamper each other with something a little more special.

Just this past weekend, the girls experimented with making omelets (since we are getting 9 eggs a day from our chickens). They prepared their individual delicacies with special ingredients from our garden. Rebecca arranged a fruit display that was definitely a runner up for “The Iler Woods Cafe Competition”, and then we just sat together and ate. It really wasn’t that fancy, it was more the art of enjoying a meal together.

Rest, el descanso, riposare.. . English, Spanish, Italian, I think we all speak the same language when we as humans acknowledge that we all need a weekly time out. . . kick off the shoes and enjoy some time without schedules. Your soul will thank you for it.

Iler family kicking off their shoes. Photograph circa 2012 in Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica

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