Posts Tagged ‘taking a day off’

Today is the first day I have had to myself in weeks. My son was out of school for two weeks, my husband was home during the holidays, and my sister and nephews were in town for a week. Since everyone has returned to their regular lives, I have had work and Bible Study taking up my time. Today is the day I have set aside to recharge my batteries.

I have come to recognize that moderation is the key to just about everything in life. Too much or not enough of just about anything makes me feel out of balance. I am a social person, but I also need alone time. Alone time is scarce during the holidays when my house is bustling with people. While I sincerely enjoy spending time with the people I love, if I don’t get some alone time, I get really cranky.

Today is my day to do whatever I feel like doing. I might nap, watch a movie, play the piano, read, or go for a walk (or all of the above!). I might do yoga and meditation to help me find my center again. It’s been a long time since I have done either!

One thing I will not do is answer the phone. I will not meet a friend for lunch or hop on my email. I need time for myself – time to relax and unwind. Time to enjoy the silence of my house and spending luxurious hours where it is not my responsibility to take care of anyone else’s needs.

To give myself a day off, I have to do some hard work leading up to it. I need the house cleaned because I cannot relax when I am surrounded by clutter. I’ll wind up spending my down day doing housework if I don’t plan ahead. I also need to make sure that all of my other responsibilities are met. For example, I won’t be able to rest if I need to need to pay a bill or run an errand.

Sometimes when I am in my hectic workaholic mode, I question the wisdom of setting aside a day of rest, but when I actually take one, I am rejuvenated in a way that nothing else can. My day of rest seems to last forever (versus my workdays, which seem to fly by with not enough hours in the day to get it all done). My yoga lady used to tell me that we are human BEings, not human DOings, so I need to learn how to “be” more. That is what today is all about!

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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PhotobucketI had a wonderful day yesterday resting. I did not rest the entire day, but I rested enough to feel rejuvenated this morning.

I have been working too much lately, and this will continue for two more weeks. One of my three part-time jobs ebbs and flows. I am teaching students how to study for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), which is offered four times a year. The next one is on October 1, so I am very busy teaching a class as well as tutoring. Feast or famine is the nature of the job. I might not work again for this part-time job until 2012, but right now, I am completely slammed.

I worked 9.5 hours for this job on Tuesday PLUS an hour for job #2 PLUS an hour for job #3. Other than short breaks for meals, I did not stop. A month ago, I had not seen a paycheck in weeks. Again, nature of the beast.

I had worked all weekend (am covering a class in another state on Saturdays, which requires five hours of driving), all day Monday, and then this insane day on Tuesday. By Tuesday night, my brain was no longer able to process the formal logic required in class on Tuesday night. I made jokes about it with my class and pointed out that I, like them, needed to take a little time off from the LSAT.

So, I rested yesterday. I had three hours of work that had to be done for my other jobs. I did one hour before breakfast and the other two hours from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The rest of the day, I nurtured myself. I went to the gym and read my book while doing 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I then did weights before coming home and doing yoga. I took a shower and then camped out in my bedroom.

I kept a scented candle lit all day (lavender/vanilla), and I watched the season premieres of two of my favorite TV shows. I ate what I wanted for lunch. Then, I took a three-hour nap. I was so relaxed that my body actually RESTED! (I continue my struggles with insomnia at night and awaken each morning around 5:00 a.m. with my heart pounding.) After I woke up, I watched a comedy.

Next, I picked up my kid from school. (It was an early release day.) He relaxed in his room for a couple of hours (he is wiped out as well because he won’t sleep when I am not home, and I don’t get home until 10:00 p.m. on Tue/Thu) while I did my other two hours of work. It seemed so easy because I was so well-rested.

Next, my son and I took our dogs for a walk. Then, we met friends for dinner at my favorite restaurant. (Hub is out of town on a business trip.) By the time I went to bed, it seemed like three relaxing days had passed.

I cannot believe how quickly a busy day flies by, whereas a relaxing day seems to take its sweet little time. That is exactly what I needed.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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