Today was the first day of a week long break from work. Ahhh, finally some much-needed time off! Except I felt more like a snake in a can than someone about to have a relaxing, rejuvenating week. I’ve always done better with structure, so I can’t say that I was surprised.
I started to think of everything I wanted to accomplish, both short term and long range. I wanted to continue exercising and meditating, get some more minimizing done, get together with friends and family, catch up on work, my e-course and my writing, schedule the medical visits I’ve been putting off and plan for my next move and my next career!
I didn’t know where to begin and instead withdrew with one of my common default behaviors: I went back to bed. I was exhausted and overwhelmed. Sleeping had always been one of my coping mechanisms and I usually felt better after a nap. But, even after pulling my flannel sheets over my head to block out the daylight, I couldn’t fall asleep.
So I grabbed my phone and started scanning various social media sites to take my mind off things. I knew this wouldn’t bring me any closer to managing my “to do” list, but at least it would give me a break from this “free fall” feeling.
I know social media is a big time waster for me and I was feeling pretty crappy when I saw a picture of a distant friend’s smiling face. I had heard she was struggling with an illness, which was evidenced by her covered head.
Tears came to my eyes and my pity party abruptly ended as I instantly realized how utterly ridiculous I was being. What would she think of how I was squandering my time?
Instead of continuing to reach out to old habits like sleep or a technology binge to withdraw from life, I decided to lean into what I was feeling and draw on some new things I’ve learned.
I did some yoga, meditated, ate a healthy lunch and made a list of everything that I wanted to accomplish this week and what I wanted to include in my daily routine, like something active. I felt much more focused, grounded and alive!
I’m grateful for this realty check while deeply saddened that others have to endure such pain and suffering. I will honor them by emulating their strength and courage as best I can, and by leaning into life.