Western culture today seems to be a competition in busy-ness. We all seem to have so much important stuff to do that taking a break from it is considered weakness. And too often when someone shares how much they are feeling pressure, stress, or a never-ending sense of being overwhelmed, we launch into the comparison game. As though there is a certain level of importance associated with a bursting workload and full calendar. As though my schedule was the threshold of what busy truly looks like.
We’re all busy.
We’re all stressed.
We could all use some extra hours.
We ought band together and encourage decompression rather than comparison.
Steph and I connected this week over a mutual feeling of having to manage too many tasks being compounded by high expectations. You know the feeling — suddenly it’s 7:00pm, your tummy is growling because you last ate at 11:30, and you’re practically in tears because despite sprinting this damn marathon all day, you still didn’t seem to make it more than a few steps forward. So you tell yourself one more hour, just finish this one page knowing that by the time you’re home and fed, you’ll be passed out from exhaustion on your couch only to return to the office after a fitful night of remembering yet another thing you need to add to the list.
So because of this, I say thank god for #VOWplay. This week I reminded myself to stop burning the midnight oil. And rather than hang in front of the TV when I got home, to still be active but in a much more gratifying way. My goal was to leave each day at 5:00 which turned out to be too lofty but I didn’t take any cases home with me (physically or metaphorically).
Since Valentine’s Day, I’ve borrowed a ukulele from my local library (Avondale branch FTW!). I downloaded a tuning app, rehearsed my chords, practiced my strums (down down-up up down-up). I’m far from talented and keeping rhythm isn’t my strong suit, but fuck it. Razzmatazz (as so named by the librarian, not me) exists for pure, nonjudgmental fun.It helped me relax each night and settle into better brainspace to start the next overly consuming workday.
I also lost myself in an online class which fed my soul rather than my schedule. Which made me feel like I was doing something important without a measuring stick of progress. It was PLAY that allowed me to elevate my personal life rather than drown ing in the drudgery of my profession.
I actively want to avoid burnout in this job. I love it too much. And so I must recognize and remind myself, week after week, that to be successful in this field means to take care of me. To allow things to wait for the morning. To know when to walk away and lighten my load. Stretch out more. Laugh a little. Do something for the sake of nothing.
This upcoming week I continue to strive with that positive work/life balance by keeping things SEPARATE…
Lin’s VOW mantra: All work and no play…
Lin’s Song of the Week: The Shining (Main Title) by Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind
Be sure to read up on Steph’s post on #VOWplay