Taking time for yourself
Normally we release our blog posts on Sunday at 2pm. However, this past week I worked extremely hard having meetings and conferences, teaching a ton of classes for Y4C, and planning for the nonprofit’s future. When it came to the weekend, I wanted one day to catch up on family stuff around the house, and I was hoping to reconnect with a couple great friends who I lost touch with. And when Sunday came to post the blog, I realized I didn’t like what I had written before, and I did not want to have to worry and rush to create something that wasn’t speaking directly to what I am dealing with in my life.
Lately I have been so focused on work and keeping this nonprofit functioning, that I have (and fully acknowledge) not given enough attention to my house, my family, and some of my friends. I was working from the moment I got out of bed to the moment I laid down at night and I was getting overwhelmed with not seeing the end. So this weekend I committed to not doing work for at least 40 hours (which is the longest I have gone ever it seems). I got up on Saturday and sanded a cabinet for staining, I pulled some weeds, I went to lunch with a friend, I cleaned my house, I finished a book, I went to a party with my husband, I cleaned out the garage, I dropped stuff off at salvation army, and I did some work (and most importantly reconnected) with a colleague who I deeply respect. See, by giving myself some space to explore, to finish projects, to clean up messes I was able to have more energy and more want to dive head first back into what I love, what gets me out of bed, and what is my calling. After my work meeting with my friend I worked for two hours – and then stopped. Giving myself space to take a nap before my husband got home from school.
My life, like yours, is filled with choices: do I choose to get out of bed or sleep in, do I choose to do work or watch TV, do I choose to take this call or do I send it to voicemail. I have to actively take a role in choosing what I want to fill my time with, and then I get to rejoice in my choice. Lately I have come into contact with people who are upset with where they are. They do not like their job, their relationship, their hair color, their body, or their relapse. They are struggling with their life-choices, when in fact the struggle or regret is a choice. What I learned from choosing to do literally anything but work was a simple truth: taking time for myself recharged my work batteries and made me grateful for my ability to do what I love. By forcing this space from work, I had to think with a new focus. I had to use another side of my brain (one that didn’t care about grants, or class schedules, or teacher qualifications, or fundraising) and gave my work brain a break.
Now that it is Monday morning (and I have finished my first cup of coffee) I do not feel overwhelmed even though I may not have accomplished as much “work” as I wanted to this weekend. However, the real work I accomplished this past weekend was experiencing how great you feel when you finish a project, how fun it is to laugh until you almost pee your pants, and how inspiring it is to sit back down for work after a short time away. And now that it is Monday morning, I know I will be working for at least 40 hours this week. I choose to enjoy them, and I will fill each hour with hard work. This way, when Saturday rolls around – I will allow myself the choice to relax, to give myself some more downtime. That is what yoga has taught me: the more you work, the better the relaxation feels.
Have an amazing week!