This is the toughest question I have ever had.
I am looking for a saint that
can help me with rest, relaxation, and the pursuit of pleasure. I am a
workaholic and type A personality. I'm also co-dependent. All of this
adds up to me coming in last in my life. I absolutely have to change
this and I need some help. I thought if I had a patron saint of
pleasure and/or relaxation, I could ask him/her for help everyday until
I develop some healthy life balance. Thank you!!
Before I address my own problem in answering this question, let me assure you that what I'm about to say is not an admonishment to the dear reader who posited this in clear need of "healthy life balance". You can't help anyone if you are completely burned out and have no time to recharge your batteries. If you have children, it's not even safe.
The problem for me is finding you a patron saint. Because basically, I can't think of any saints who put themselves first in any way, rested, relaxed or in some cases, even slept much.
St. Catherine of Sienna only slept for about 2 hours a night. She fasted continually, sometimes surviving on only the Host. She didn't live long at all.
The Apostles walked as far as their feet could carry them, non stop, until they were stopped by martyrdom.
St. Sebastian spent all his time preaching to soldiers to lay down their arms, stop warring, turn the other cheek and all the other things we like to pretend Jesus didn't say because we're too weak to find another way to solve our differences. They got sick of Sebastian and shot him full of arrows. He survived. Then he went back to tell them a few more things and they clubbed him to death.
Penniless St. John of God found a house, begged for money to rent it, begged for sheets and mattresses and supplies and medicine AND took care of the sick people who came there. If they couldn't come or didn't come, he went and got them and carried to the his hospital. When it caught on fire he carried everyone out and then went back for the precious mattresses and bedpans.
I don't recall Mother Teresa having any spa time. And Jesus Himself washed the feet of His disciples.
Even the saints who actually didn't help anyone but themselves, the desert hermits who eshewed living in society because they found they couldn't stay holy and pure living among other people and the temptations there, spent all their time praying and fasting, devoting their every thought to God.
I just can't think of a single saint who knew how to relax. That's pretty much what made them saints. Work for God on a heroic level.
I do think you need to relax and recharge. I just can't think of a saint who was into that. If anything, reading the lives of the saints will make you feel like you should be doing more. A lot more.
So let's take a step back and think about what you're doing. You're a doormat. What are you helping people do? Are you helping them find money for their chemo treatments? Or are you doing their homework for them? If you're doing the later, you're actually not helping at all. Are you feeding the hungry? or are you making the kids afterschool snacks? They can get their own snacks. They can get you a snack. That would be more helpful to them because they should learn to do for themselves and others.
Are you helping the least and the last? or are you helping people who could do whatever it is you're doing for themselves. Because if they could do those things for themselves, they could also be training themselves to help the least and the last. Are you following this?
Put simply, don't help people be lazy.
Is your workaholicness stemming from ego? Is it that no one can do it as well as you, so you just do it yourself because you want it done a certain way? Get over yourself. You might actually be robbing someone else of a simple pleasure, like making a nice sandwich or washing the car with the kids.
You're probably doing a lot of things that don't even need doing.
A saint for you? Let's try St. Francis de Sales, who had a lot to say about something that you desperately need: simplicity.
When a simple soul is to act,
it considers only what it is suitable to do or say, and then
immediately begins the action, without losing time in thinking what
others will do or say about it. And after doing what seemed right, it
dismisses the subject; or if, perhaps, any thought of what others may
say or do should arise, it instantly cuts short such reflections, for
it has no other aim than to please God, and not creatures, except as
the love of God requires it. Therefor, it cannot bear to be turned
aside from its purpose of keeping close to God, and winning more and
more of his love for itself. -----St. F. de