Balancing Act

I’m not really into working today. It’s gloomy outside and I didn’t sleep well last night. It’s a perfect day to be curled up on the couch with a cat reading and/or napping. I had a meeting with a department director first thing this morning, though, so I couldn’t take the day off, and so far it’s been a typical Monday, which makes me wish I wasn’t here just that much more.

If it hadn’t been for that meeting, I would have called in (actually I email) and rolled over and gone back to sleep for a couple of hours. I took last Monday off (pre-arranged) and it was really lovely. No Sunday night dread feeling, no Monday crap. The weather was beautiful that day, so I had a nice long bike ride and really enjoyed the day.

What was nice, too, was that I had taken the day off just because I wanted to. I didn’t feel the need to justify it to myself or anyone else. I wanted to do it, I did it, and I enjoyed it. Easy peasy. Doing something just because I want to is one of the things I have missed the past few years. My life is not as uncomplicated as it used to be, and there isn’t much time, money, or energy available these days to indulge my whims.

I’m focused mostly on what needs to be done in the next 10 minutes – cuz there’s always a list and plenty on it between work and home – and I forget to have fun. I forget to just be. I forget that there are things that make me happy that don’t require a lot of effort or money or time, and that I need to do them/have them.

All work and no play makes this girl depressed.

I noticed a couple of weeks ago that I was wearing the same pair of earrings everyday and had been for quite a while. Kind of a silly thing, but it was a red flag to me that I was in “robot” mode, and that if I didn’t try to get out of it I would be completely emotionally paralyzed soon enough.

So I got out all my jewelry and picked out things I hadn’t worn in a while, and I’ve been trading off different rings and earrings everyday. Believe it or not, it makes a difference. Ditto food. I bought some different things at the store last week and I’ve been adding a forgotten favorite or something new to every meal.

Friday I went to the fish market and bought smoked whitefish paté, a particular favorite that I don’t usually allow myself cuz it’s expensive and high in calories, but man, is it good!

Saturday night I had a campfire. I made s’mores, and sat outside in the dark watching the flames and drank a beer. Yesterday I had fried potatoes with breakfast.

Just because I could.

Most importantly, I rode almost every evening after work last week and both afternoons this weekend I was out for 2 hours or so in the heat and the sun, turning the pedals and getting happier with every drop of sweat I shed.

It’s summer and this is my favorite time of year. I need more outside-enjoying-it and less inside-working/doing chores. The work and the chores need to be done, and sometimes even need to come first, but there has to be time for the good stuff, too, or life is just too hard.

So I had to work today, but when I get home I can have some crackers and whitefish paté, and maybe even a short bike ride if it’s stopped raining by then. After dinner and the dishes and the evening with mom, I can climb in bed with the good book I’m reading, and then (I hope) get a good night’s sleep. I’ll think of this as a good day, cuz there was time for everything, including and especially me.

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