I'm writing this from the airport and I'm less than 2 hours away from flying away to the sunny south for vacation.
The problem is, everything in me is telling me I don't have time to rest. The other problem is, everything in me is telling me I have to take a rest.
Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever felt like you've been putting in too many hours and now it's catching up to you? Maybe you're a bit more forgetful, or fearful, or frayed. It might have something to do with the narrow margins between work and rest, creating and consuming, playing and working.
I think I'm there...and this vacation couldn't come at a better time. I've absolutely had a blast working hard to launch this book while dedicating loads of other creative energy into some very exciting projects with my other job at BIC Canada. It feels counter-intuitive to step away and take a rest, but I've learned over the years that this is EXACTLY what I need to do when I start feeling thin, and tired.
I wrote about this in the book when I was describing what it felt like to be reborn to a new way of thinking about my work. Sadly, I feel like I learned the hard way...after I had over-worked to over-compensate for the loneliness I was feeling in my life.
Work is like that isn't it? We often use it to feed the best and worst parts of us.
Here's a little tidbit from that section of the book:
During the times in my life when an old habit or pattern is being put
to death, I almost always feel fragile. I’m not exactly sure where and
how to step. I’m so used to carrying the bundles. I’ve been running
on this terrain for a while and the ruts are deep, threatening to pull
me in again. Now I’m in unfamiliar territory without a map. I don’t
want to screw things up and return to the well-walked path. I know
those ruts lead to nowhere I want to go.
I remember feeling unsettled when I decided I needed to have
better boundaries around working too many hours. I was used to
completing my to-do list every day, regardless of how much time
it took. But choosing to not complete everything made me feel like
I was precariously close to something fatal. Of course that wasn’t
true, but it felt like something I highly valued was up for grabs—
my productivity and even my sense of worthiness.
I knew I needed
to curb this habit and even die to getting my sense of worth from
my level of productivity, but I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about
doing it. What was I to do about the things that wouldn’t get done?
How would I make choices about what work to leave and what
work to finish? What would people think if I didn’t deliver it to
them like I had in the past? These are the questions of someone
walking on a new path. But they are the right questions because
they are being asked on the path of transformation.
I'm excited to completely unplug in a few days..no email, no Facebook, no noth'in. It'll take a few days for me to come down and prepare to be "off", but that is exactly what I intend to do.
I'm going to swim, and read, and walk, and write, and dream, and pray, and have some fun!
If you're feeling like you need a break but don't have a sunny vacation planned, trust me when I say, a single day to unplug can do wonders; 2 days can make all the difference. Why not plan a day sometime in the next seven to just rest and be. You're not God...and neither am I...so let's stop acting like we are and work as if the very foundations of our lives depended on it.
Instead: Play. Eat. Celebrate. Do something that makes you come alive and spend some time slowing down.
* I'll be taking next week off from the blog and look forward to sharing more in March!