I‘ve been a bit restless since the holidays. Don’t get me wrong—my lights are out when I hit our snowflake flannel sheets, and hard, and I’m a bit eager to start this new year with gusto. But there’s still something stirring in me a bit, and I’m honestly not quite sure what it’s all about.

Part of it is because we’re entering a season that’s naturally difficult for me—I’m not a fan of the non-Christmas side of winter, and here in central Oregon, we’ve got a long way to go till spring (there often isn’t a spring at all, snowing through May and plowing straight in to warm summer). And yes, this can affect my emotional well-being… but I feel like my restlessness has to do with something else.

I’m a planner by nature; I love to make goals and see them met, and though I’m not naturally competitive, I do like proving to myself that I can set my mind to something and call it Done (read X number of books this year; learn how to cook X—whatever). It means I can Get Stuff Done. But it also means it’s sometimes hard for me to live in the present.

There’s a place in life for dreaming, and dreaming big. But while we dream, there’s an equally valid spot at the table for learning to be present, to fully relish and savor each day as it comes. To do more than just survive the day-to-day, and to not live in a waiting room for the next season, checking off calendar boxes till the next big event.

To bravely wonder if we can act out our dreams, even while we embrace the present.

I love what my friend Jennie says about dreaming in her new book: “We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”

I think there’s a formula here somewhere. That there’s deep, soul-satisfying value in savoring the present, but it needs coupling with the courage to dream, and to act on that dream.

Embracing the here and now + dreaming big = true, satisfying rest.

The dreaming part comes easy for me, admittedly. It’s the embracing of the present that’s a challenge, and so that’s the part of this equation where I’m challenged to channel my efforts these days.

For me, right now, being at rest means being at peace with where I am, right now, with all the good and not-so-good parts. This simplifies my soul, and it breathes in life renewed.


Jennie is giving five Art of Simple readers a copy of her new book, Restless.


To win a copy, simply leave a comment on this post! I’d love to hear what’s easier for you—dreaming big or embracing life in the here and now.

(If you’re reading this via email or RSS, please click over to the post to leave a comment directly on the blog.)

This giveaway will end Friday, and we’ll announce the winner soon after. I hope you win!