December… one of my favorite months!
Am I excited about Christmas… hardly. I don’t shop; I don’t buy stuff; I hunt nearly the entire month of December. I am worn out doing the business of camp. I am tired of the push; I am tired of the routine; I need a nap- a long nap. And so do you!
I have been in your shoes. We held our last big retreat of the year on December 6-7. 250 Jr. high boys; their high energy and excitement was the opposite of our staff internal energy level. By sucking it up, our staff did another great job of ministering and meeting our guest’s needs. But now they need a rest.
So that is why I like Christmas; it is rest time for our staff and for you. Take advantage of the lack of urgency to stop what you are doing and take more naps.
Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr writes in their book, The Power of Full Engagement:
Winston Churchill was among the world leaders who clearly understood the strategic value of naps: “You must sleep some time between lunch and dinner and no halfway measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imagination. You will accomplish more. You get two days in one— well, at least one and a half, I’m sure. When the war started, I had to sleep during the day because that was the only way I could cope with my responsibilities.” Schwartz, Tony; Loehr, Jim (2003-02-10). The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal (Kindle Locations 1050-1054). Free Press. Kindle Edition.
If Churchill needed to nap during World War II, so do you!
You have run at full speed for 11 months. You began your year trying to hire summer staff and develop summer camp curriculum. Sandwiched in the middle of your year, you led and directed a hodge-podge group of young people and created a unified ministry team. You have ended the year with a full slate of retreats, followed by getting out that last appeal for end-of-the-year funds. If you are feeling spent and frazzled… you should be.
There is a reason that the Christmas poem goes like this:
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
Settled our brains for a long winter nap!? I can only assume the writer of the poem worked at a camp.