Some days I just don’t give a damn. I’m tired. I’ve battled the demons of the day job, the emotional toll of being a caregiver, the chores of home ownership, and I’ve wrangled words on paper and by the end of the week, I’m done. I surrender.
Today is one of those days. I’m pissed off that last night’s storm knocked more deadfall to the ground. I just can’t face the puddles of rainwater in my basement. I don’t care if mold will grow in the corners. And don’t get me started on the piles of laundry and dishes and dust and. . ..
Do your lists of things to do grow at an alarming rate? Mine do. And it is exhausting. So what do you do? I don’t know about you but there are days when I give up. I surrender to the weight of ALL THE THINGS and I throw myself down on the floor, kicking and screaming “I don’t wanna!” (Okay, not literally, but it’s how I feel.)
IT’S NOT LAZINESS
I’d berate myself when I did this. I was lazy, a cry-baby. I was inadequate for the job of adulting. What a load of $#!%.
Life can be hard. Life can, and often does, pull the unexpected surprise. And some of us pile on more SHOULDS than is humanly possible. I’m particularly bad at that. I’d go and go and go until I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that I’d collapse. Slowly, I’ve learned that when I reach the “Waa, I don’t wanna” stage, I’ve been pushing myself too hard. It’s time for a break.
TAKE A BREAK
Taking a break doesn’t need to mean taking a whole day off. Sometimes taking the whole day would mean wrecking other plans or interfering with deadlines I cannot ignore. Taking a break means be kind to yourself. Reward yourself. When time is precious I’ll indulge in a special snack or beverage. Reserve these foods and drinks as special, otherwise, it won’t feel like a treat.
Willing to spend twenty minutes or more? Take a bubble bath. Go for a walk in a place that feeds your soul. Gaze at the stars. Take a nap.
Need a longer break? Read a book (best, re-read an old favorite!) Visit a museum. Go to a concert or a movie. And at least once a year, turn off, tune out, and take a week or more to explore people and places.
Understand why your body, your soul needs a break. This, too, is part of life. It’s not something you need to forgive. You’ve done nothing wrong. You’re re-energizing, getting yourself ready for the next wave.
If you find yourself taking an extended break or too many breaks, examine your why. Perhaps the thing you are avoiding is a thing you don’t need to do. Maybe you’ve been too long without a break. Or you are resisting for other reasons. Once you understand why, You’ll be able to move forward, to jump back in.
JUMP BACK IN
The key to making this reward system work is to jump back on the tracks after your break is over. And next time, don’t wait so long between breaks. It will make doing ALL THE THINGS so much easier.
I’ve finished my latte, so it’s back to the soggy basement for me. What do you do to reward yourself, to take a break, when you surrender to all the things?