“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller
Tomorrow is my first day back at work after one month of medical leave for my hip surgery. I am usually a pretty busy person between my job (I probably average 55 hours/wees) and other stuff (yoga, exercise, teaching, blogging, etc.). It was pretty hard for me to accept that I had to sit at home and do nothing for a month. I realize this sounds fun (the sitting around, not the surgery) to some people, but it made me very anxious to think about not being able to DO anything.
This anxiety about not DOING something made me stop and think. I definitely think a lot in terms of how “productive” I’ve been. Our productivity is actually measured at work (hours billed). Even on weekends or at night, I frequently use my accomplishments to determine if it was a “good” weekend or night. I often feel guilty when I relax. I have honestly struggle to sit and even just watch TV or a movie by myself. I feel compelled to do something else so it feels productive: clean, play words with friends, blog… If I’m with someone else, I can watch because then I’m “doing” something because spending time with someone else. My mom is the same way. I blame the Protestant work ethic lol. I even cataloged what I did over my break (yes I’m that big a nerd).
- Seasons of Dexter watched: 2
- Seasons of True Blood watched: 3
- Seasons of Game of Thrones watched: 1
- Hunger Games books read: 3
- Game of Thrones books read: 3.5
- Average hours slept a night: 8.5
- Average wake up time: 9 am
- Average naps/day: 1
- Time on the exercise bike: 30 min/day average
- Amount of time cuddling with Tansy (my dog): too much to count
I fought relaxing for the first part of my break (well, after I was off the pain meds). I constantly looked for things to do. I wrote more blog posts. I created a Pinterest page. I checked Facebook obsessively, feeling like I was missing out on things socially. I felt cranky and irritated that I had to have help doing everything and couldn’t go anywhere. I played a million games on my phone (words with friends, scramble with friends, and draw something) multiple times a day. I think part of the problem is my more type A personality and the need to feel like I’m accomplishing things. I think the other part was fighting the message from the universe, which was that I needed to stop and slow down.
About half-way through the break, something happened (long story that I won’t include here), and I was able to let go of my need to do something and accept just being. I think I was finally able to get it through my head that all signs were pointing to the fact that I needed to have time to just rest and recuperate and NOT be busy doing stuff. I think the change in weather helped; I did “work” on my tan😉 I no longer felt so anxious, antsy and irritable. or I needed to look for something to do to feel okay. Instead I really enjoyed my time off. I was able to get into my longer book series (I’m completely obsessed with Game of Thrones now). I napped more. I checked my computer and phone less. I was happier overall.
Based on my experiences with time my off, the following are my mini resolutions for when I return to work:
- Spend some time outside every day, ideally getting sunshine
- Get more sleep (see point below)
- Turn off technology 1 hour before bed (it made a big difference my sleep)
- Enjoy my new found mobility and get out to see friends more now that I can. Make time for it during the week.
- Spend less of my free time (nights/weekends) on the computer and phone. This includes work.
- Make sure to make time for daily exercise/physical therapy. I have to do it now, so no excuses!
- Maintain work/life balance (New Year’s resolution I did worst on so far this year)
- Take more time to unplug and be present and mindful
- More bubble baths
- More meditation (made a big change in my mood)
We’ll see how they go