R&R

rest 1 (r st)
n.
1. Cessation of work, exertion, or activity.
2. Peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of an activity.
3. Sleep or quiet relaxation.
4. The repose of death: eternal rest.
5. Relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance.
6. Mental or emotional tranquillity.
7. Termination or absence of motion.
8. Music
a. An interval of silence corresponding to one of the possible time values within a measure.
b. The mark or symbol indicating such a pause and its length.
9. A short pause in a line of poetry; a caesura.
10. A device used as a support: a back rest.
11. Games See bridge1.
v. rest·ed, rest·ing, rests
v.intr.
1. To cease motion, work, or activity.
2. To lie down, especially to sleep.
3. To be at peace or ease; be tranquil.
4. To be, become, or remain temporarily still, quiet, or inactive: Let the issue rest here.
5. To be supported or based; lie, lean, or sit: The ladder rests firmly against the tree.
6. To be imposed or vested, as a responsibility or burden: The final decision rests with the chairperson.
7. To depend or rely: That argument rests on a false assumption.
8. To be located or be in a specified place: The original manuscript rests in the museum.
9. To be fixed or directed on something: “His brown eyes rested on her for a moment” (John le Carré).
10. To remain; linger.
11. Law To cease voluntarily the presentation of evidence in a case: The defense rests.
v.tr.
1. To give rest or repose to: rested my eyes.
2. To place, lay, or lean for ease, support, or repose.
3. To base or ground: I rested my conclusion on that fact.
4. To fix or direct (the gaze, for example).
5. To bring to rest; halt.
6. Law To cease voluntarily the introduction of evidence in (a case).

I am someone who is in a perpetual state of yearning… for rest. Because I am overly ambitious about the things I think I can achieve in one day I practically frizzle my very essence in a grand push to ACCOMPLISH. Mind over matter I say! I know I can do it! I can WILL myself to do ANYTHING. But, I often find myself at the end of a project, or 2, or 3, or 7, simultaneous or end-on-end projects, not at all satisfied and sated with the spoils of a job well-done, but rather crisp and crunchy and just plain, well, tired. And I find myself wondering, when will I ever rest?
Let’s face it: I’m an artist. Which means that if I don’t want to lead the romantic life of a starving artist, I had better work my butt off. And I do. I am one of the hardest working people I know. And yet it never feels like enough — I always feel like I could have done more –I could have done better. I know part of this comes from the echoes of my father’s voice that have been burned into my subconscious: “You got an A minus?! My children don’t get A minuses.” And a lot of it comes from my own personal desire to be successful. I want to be a full-time artist. I don’t want a day job. But right now work is defined by, doing a day job and WORKING MY ASS OFF to be the best artist I can be so I can book those other jobs: the artistically fulfilling and the commercially acceptable ones. But that’s not good enough. In order to do that, I also have to be the best personal assistant, the best marketing department, the best make-up artist and stylist, and the best coach, personal trainer, best PR rep, best accountant and legal department I can be.
And then you finally get a gig.
And as Viola Davis recently said in one of her speeches acknowledging the honors and accolades she is receiving for a kick-ass performance in “The Help” – you finally get a job and you’re just TIRED.
I AM tired. And rest doesn’t come from sleep OR snuggling with your amazing pets or your fabulous husband. It’s a start. But all that is still action – there’s still a verb to describe that and an end game. Perhaps rest really does come in doing absolutely nothing. Or maybe it comes from doing something that has no goal in mind. Like learning to play the cello even if you know you’ll be terrible at it for the rest of your life. Or blogging even if there is no audience. Or simply BE-ing and feeling grateful for the experience of being you: an artist, with all the heart-filling, heartache-ing, and exhausting opportunities that brings.

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