I made it. To the end of the semester. With one week between end of school and beginning of work, when the crazy schedule would start up all over again, I wondered how best to treat myself--I deserved it, right? My body cried for a break. So did my brain.
Literally the morning after my last final I picked up a book and read this passage:
Although the world tells men to play nine holes of golf or go on vacation and tells women that the very best way to be rejuvenated is by going on a shopping spree or to the spa--I believe that covenant men and women are far more likely to be rejuvenated through service, especially if they are able to delight in that covenant with others." --Wendy Watson Nelson
Zing! It rang true. Why go to a spa or a movie or the mall when I could take an opportunity to o something meaningful? Something refreshing for the spirit? That, I realized, was what really needed rejuvenation. And just the thought of brightening someone else's day released sunshine inside--sunshine the stress-for-self of a nonstop semester had squeezed out.
The mall, the spa, the golf course, restaurant, vacation site all have their place, and I use them too (maybe not the spa--too touchy-feels for me). But I wanted to be refreshed from the inside, I realized, and the outside would follow. And I remembered previous experience where service had done just that.
So I went and helped my mom and siblings at the family store that day instead of personal R&R, as conventional connotation would put it. I feel great.