Right now, it feels like my life is one giant chaotic hurricane. I am in the process of looking for another ‘just-in-case’ job. I am trying to find a temporary place to live. I have massive amounts of grading to do. I myself have to write several letters of recommendation for teachers in my department that are possible laid off as well. I am in charge of a million different things at my school, all of which seemed to have events this month. GAH!
I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to write my usual two posts a week. Sitting down now, I was just about to start in on my work when I took a pause, and reminded myself:
It will get done.
It doesn’t matter if I take an hour or two to write this post. I know myself, and I will handle my responsibilities like I always do. However, if I don’t take time to do things for myself during periods of high demand, that’s when the possibility of failure becomes real.
Humans are tricky beings. Sometimes, the very thing that seems to create the most productivity (grind grind grind!) is the very act that leads to our downfall.
We are not meant to push ourselves to the absolute limit each and every day. We can do it for a period of time, but eventually, progress crashes to a halt.
I’ve had to learn this the hard way with working out. I thought that if I worked out three times a day and ate next to nothing, I would drop weight like a player drops an old fling. Lies. The scale would not budge, and it actuall shot up whenever I didn’t stick to my iron regimen. Now that I’m eating a normal amount of food and working out once a day, I am actually seeing results.
That’s not to say that there can’t be periods of time where you need to hit the gas over a longer span of time. However, if we make that our go to MO, it will catch up to us eventually.
When our life becomes highly chaotic, that is when we most need to take the time to center ourselves and take the steps necessary to clear the cobwebs from our head.
But, these also have to be purposeful moments. A lot of the time we push ourselves so hard that our recovery is sitting on the couch watching TV or going out and binge-drinking. This is not actual recovery time, because it does nothing to re-energize you. Every time I waste an entire night watching TV, I feel annoyed with myself for not getting SOMETHING done.
The goal of taking time off should be to advance something that you and only you will benefit from (which will lead into peripheral benefits for others). This is proven time and time again by mothers who ‘selfishly’ take an hour for themselves to work out, and instantly see the positive impact this purposeful time makes in their day to day lives.
Many people might say that taking time off to be productive defeats the purpose of taking time off. However, the end goal of time off should be an increase in enjoyment and re-solidification of your purpose.
Think back to the times when you were the most happy. For me, those times include being with the people I love and care about, reading a great book, or working out. All of those things, besides giving me contentment, move me towards a personal goal.
There is also a flip side to this coin. If you are a person who doesn’t push themselves at all, in any capacity, or for any purpose, you are failing yourself. If your whole life is simply floating in a giant inner-tube being pulled every which way by the current, this is a waste.
Every person is given the chance to make their life purposeful. The awesome and intimidating reality of this is that you get to choose your purpose. And the scarier part is, it might not be the same as the people next to you.
Humans are not solitary creatures by nature, and it is very easy to look to someone stronger than you and emulate their life and projected purpose. It gives us a feeling of safety when we see other people doing the same thing.
However, the beautiful thing about life is that there are no two people who are on the same journey. If you have truly solidified where you want to go, and actively work towards that goal on a day to day basis, there is an inner sense of contentment that no one can take away from you.
Passionately be at the helm of your own ship. The entire world is lounging before us, and no matter where you intend to end up, it’s always more rewarding if you earnestly battled the storms and Kraken’s to get there. You are not a message in a bottle waiting to be drifted to a foreign land. An epic journey awaits you if you simply pull out your sword and bravely unfurl the sails.