I didn’t work yesterday. No, I wasn’t taking advantage of the long weekend; I did mean to work on Monday. Thing is, I just didn’t have the energy to do anything anymore, not even the energy (or time!) to exercise.
It’s been two weeks since my husband’s hand surgery, so he’s doing better now. Thing is, I’m still tired from lack of sleep, from catching up on projects, and of course, being a wife and mom 24/7. I had a throbbing headache throughout Sunday, and early Monday morning. It was so bad, I called off my meetings, even though they were near the house. I have a deadline for a project, but as my body would have it, the deadline would have to wait.
I had to breathe. I was overwhelmed.
My headache was a clear sign that I was in bad shape. And, I could feel a tickle in my throat signaling that I could come down with something.
I knew had to stop working.
And so I did. I took yesterday off to be with my family, whom I’ve hardly “seen”, even though I’ve been home most days but buried underneath a pile of work.
I’m smiling now.
We had lunch out, ate cupcakes and pudding afterwards, and did the week’s groceries.
It was a simple, non-eventful day. That’s what made it great!
You know, ever since I let go of my regular-paying job last June and went on my own, I’ve had such freedom: freedom of schedule, freedom of workflow. It’s been awesome, because now I get to choose when to work, and with whom I work. The thing is, with all that I’m working on compounded with the unexpected stuff that’s gone down the past two weeks, I’ve fallen behind on work.
It got to a point where I was juggling too much. What’s worse, no hired help was available, because our regular cleaning lady/ironing lady was also ill and unavailable to take on some of the housework.
So you can understand my situation: I was doing most of the household duties; I ran a workshop last week; I was working on several clients’ projects; and I was also taking care of my husband and son…. and running myself ragged doing it all.
Overwhelm can be a crippling demon that latches on to us, sapping us of life. I felt his “bite” distinctly; it lurched over me, like an annoying thorn or an irritable itch. It would only go away when I dealt with it, stopped fussing over it, and let it heal.
I’m glad I came across this quote today from Emerson, because it puts things into perspective quite well:
I was being a work-a-holic the past two weeks. I hate being a work-a-holic — that’s why I stopped working for someone else a while back, when I was getting too sucked into the job, and I wasn’t living my purpose as a wife and mom.
I guess the past two weeks have been a lesson for me in priorities and in saying “wait” or even “no” to things.
I’m better, thanks to the reality check. Rather than let my to-do list “condition me” as Emerson says, I’m doing the reverse and making things work for me. My work makes me happy, yes; I love what I do, and that I can do work that I enjoy. However, if things have to go on “pause” mode because of family or health reasons, then I have to adjust. I have to make decisions for myself, for my happiness. I work better when I’m happy and healthy!
So here’s to staying sane, to take breaks — even those forced by time and the unexpected. Sometimes, we just have to listen to the signs that tell us to stop and just breathe.
How about you? How was your past week?