Some days should taste metallic. Like the taste of blood you get in the back of your throat after a hard run signifying that you’ve pushed yourself a bit beyond your max.

The holidays, snowstorms, and an injury threw a wrench in my religiously rote routine causing moments of stress, dread and full-blown panic over the past month for this type-A personality. However, after a whirlwind holiday, I tried to be grateful for the slower pace and softer edges of my days and recognize peace in the stillness that I normally wouldn’t welcome.

There is repair in the respite. Not every day should taste metallic. There are days when you easily give 110%. Other days, 100% effort only yields 70% of the result from the day before. It all sounds like a bad math problem I don’t know how to solve. However, I’m trying to trust and accept the impossible days as much as I acknowledge and embrace the effortless days.

It took the storm of the decade and a lame leg to force me to slow down. Only then did I realize the busyness I had been subjecting myself to was my attempt to distract from feelings I was pushing past. Suddenly, in my surrender, I found myself forced to face them. Sit with them. Honor them. During setbacks and slowdowns, it’s easy to feel stress, anxiety and guilt about not meeting the productivity we’re used to or desire, but there’s beauty in the breakdown. It’s in the space and time of the unexpected that we’re likely to discover the lesser known parts of who we are and hear the needs of our bodies and minds we might otherwise ignore.

I’ve spent the past month trusting the cues of the universe and my body and accepting that rest is a necessary component to success. I’ve embraced the niggles summoned by the change of pace to my days as signs of the passion and commitment I have for what I do rather than allow them to paralyze me. Doubt and fear are necessary to challenge and motivate us away from settling, but they’re also signs we must allow ourselves a bit of extra grace.

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We survived the holidays, dug out from the storm, and my self-diagnosed stress fracture was apparently a much less dramatic setback that simply needed a few days’ rest. In the Midwest, sometimes we have no choice but to accept the change of pace that nature throws at us. She’s saying, “Relax. Slow down.” Our bodies are as much a mother to us as nature, telling us to rest and recover.

Sometimes rest is harder than work or routine, but it will always be part of the equation that reaps rewards. If you’re not one to pencil it in, the least you can do is embrace it when it’s forced upon you – be it through holiday, snowstorm or injury. I’m learning not to resent the rest, but I haven’t quite mastered relishing it. Maybe I’ll get there, but for now it’s been beautiful to get back to regularly scheduled programming and taste the metallic burn at the back of my throat.