When Days Gang Up on You

So, I had a Monday. It was a Monday when a month of Mondays all decided to jump me at once. “One day at a time,” the gospel song has it, but the days didn’t want to wait that long. I staggered home feeling flat, miserable, and under the weather.

Since, apparently, my body had decided that, “Alma is going to rest. I am going to force the issue,” I rested. Mostly. As much as I can rest with stuff to be done. But I rested. And hydrated, because I got dry on Sunday. I volunteered to help with a Trunk-or-Treat. The dewpoint was low, the breeze was cool, the sun shone down, and I got dry.

I’ve been burning the candle too quickly, worrying about too many things, and it all landed on top of me. This isn’t all that uncommon, but usually my stress appears in a less dramatic fashion. Apparently my body decided that I was ignoring all the other signals, so Steps would be Taken. My body won.

It happened. I rested, relaxed, stayed away from the news and from pre-concert stuff (a source of growing stress) and concentrated on some things I needed to do for Day Job, that could be done at home.

A lot of us tend to go until we hit physical walls, or at least our bodies say, “King’s X, I’m downing tools.” And then we wonder why, oh, juggling four running chainsaws, while riding a unicycle and reciting “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” in Hebrew suddenly isn’t happening. Mind and body are interconnected, and the feedback gets to the breaking point. At least it does for some of us.

It shouldn’t take Drama in order to get me to relax, but it did. So I rested. I’d spent the Sabbath not resting. It was fun, and I enjoyed teaching, singing, and helping with the community service project, but that wasn’t rest. I know better.

Take a deep breath. Go walk out in the leaves, enjoy autumn if you can. Play with a cat or dog. Listen to relaxing music and let your brain float for the duration of the CD or album [No, Alma, following along with the score of {cantata of the week} is not resting!] Turn off the TV or internet, if you can, and watch the stars come out in the evening. Or read something entertaining and escapist. Disengage for an hour, or as long as you safely can, and just float. The last two months of the year are overloaded. Shed some load, if you can.

I went to bed early, acknowledging the inevitable. Rest matters. You can’t care for others if you are not functional. My characters say that over and over. I need to hear it, too.

Note: I have no patience with people who insist “I’m taking a ‘Me week/month/semester’ ” while forcing others to pick up the slack and more. I’ve had to work around that person. I’m talking about taking a day, hour, off, breathing, and then wading back into the fray.


9 thoughts on “When Days Gang Up on You

  1. I was working a job that entailed rotating shift work, when I took a call from “Jim’s” wife saying he couldn’t come in for the first night of his Mid-shift as he had ptomaine. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be notable other than the seriousness of the “disease.” However “Jim” had a habit of having his wife call in sick for him on the first night of mids, usually with some fairly serious malady. Miraculously he’d be recovered by the next day. Of course someone had to work overtime to cover for him. Just speculation, but I think “Jim” had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

    P.S. I hate working an overtime mid shift after my regular swing shift.

  2. Oops [caught with “White Gold and Empire” on the second reading]. 😀 Time for a walk this evening, with clear skies and great color contrasts.

    There are times for a couple hours, or a couple days, to rest and recover – real rest, and not trying to double-count the time. Amazing how fast you recover with real rest.

    I’m of the same mind about the “time for Me” crew. I once was able to take a semester approved for graduate study, which meant wrapping up projects and handing over to an associate, and being available to answer questions as well as the usual academic reading, projects, and homework. Turned into another set of 60 hour weeks, and vacation that year was basically watching the shore to ensure the tide came in and out.

    • Yes. I decided “if I get NaNo’s 50K done, great. If not, no worries.” I also learned that I will lose a weekend to a 16 hour continuing education thing that has to be done three weeks earlier than I’d planned for. Another reason not to push things.

  3. I love your writing and hope you get some rest. I went to confession once and got “take an hour for yourself” as penance. I argued about how impossible it would be and was told, “then take a day.” I shut up. 😊

  4. My break was reading your new book! Loved it! Well done, and yes, downtime IS important. We are human, and not 21 anymore, regardless of what our minds think… sigh

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