So if I am dreaming of Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and have low energy/motivation come Mondays, is that a concern? I’m thinking it is. Think of how many hours we have in a week.
- If we spend 40-45+ hours in the office each week, and
- Add a commute – in my case about 8 hours of commuting a week
- Then add 24×7 monitoring/on-call to our already stressed out life (weekends/evenings)
Surely I should either enjoy it or reconsider my options. One thing I do know, is I shouldn’t be wishing the time away.
As a full-time worker, seeking an advanced degree, with 2 houses, 3 kids in various stages, and aging parents, where is the time to consider my options? I simply don’t take the time. There is always something else to do in the place of relaxing and reflecting on life. I’ll have to admit, I’m a little tired at this point. My family had a pretty tough 2018 with some serious health issues for my son, but those appear past us now. Optimistically, 2019 is looking pretty darn good. I should take advantage of this.
So back to considering a break. I’m not talking Retirement with a capital R. Maybe a little r and more like a (r)est than (r)etirement. Now I’m not talking some run-of-the-mill one week of a spa experience kind of time off. That’s cheating! I also know a day or so before I was to return to work, I’d start working my mental to do list, or obsessing that the break was over too soon.
No, I’m talking of a BREAK. I’m talking serious, lose track of time, sleep in, do some yoga, and “try to truly relax your brain” kind of time off. Time to reflect on what I plan to do for the next 20 years…
Sure, I exercise every day, and with that I build in reflection time. I squeeze in 30 minutes of cardio before I start my day, because if it doesn’t get done early, it won’t get done. But even that relaxation time feels rushed. I feel over scheduled. When I’m in the office, I’m usually 4 appointments deep and running around like a maniac. Context changing every 30 minutes, putting out fires, managing some interesting personalities. I’m so exhausted from an overscheduled office day with no breaks, running from crisis to crisis, that I collapse on the couch and fall asleep soon after dinner. I feel I’m either running at top speed or passing out from exhaustion. I’m not thinking this is healthy.
I’m also a cancer survivor. One who swore that if God got her through the sickness, it would call for a complete change in her life…..
Is this poor time management? Do I do this to myself to not take breaks during the day, not keep that lunch hour free to meet with people? Am I addicted to the running from place to place, crisis to crisis? Have I not done enough to gain control of my own day, before it takes control of me?
Something is amiss for me, and I know it. So I intend to do something about it. I’m done talking about it. I’ve bored my family and friends with so much talk of slowing down, and no action. It’s time for action.
Now, although there are a lot of articles about people taking a career break, or an “adult gap year”, very few people share their story while they are going through it. Generally the article starts with the reason for taking the break, and ends at what they learned. I, for one, would like to follow someone who is actually going through the process and know all the ins and outs and good and bad throughout the process. I mean, what are they thinking? Show me the good, bad and ugly of the whole thing! How do they feel? Do they regret it? What is it like to wake up Day 1 with a “what did I do to myself, and what do I do with my whole day” feeling? How long does it take to find your new happy place? How many people just return to work? My main question of all. Can I do this?
One thing I do know. Change is good. Taking risks is good. Trying something new is good. I’m not doing anything that others have not done before me, and I have a lot of friends and family that will be there to mentor me through. I do feel guilty. I feel too young to do this.
Maybe I should practice all those skills from podcasts – and reframe this experience. Maybe this is the perfect time in my life to consider doing this, and I’m just pretty damn lucky to get the chance.
So, it’s a big life decision. Others have done this before me. I have to stop being so damn responsible and take the plunge.