In my experience, I have found that there are times when I work and work and work, and nothing comes of it, and times where I seem to reap undeserved rewards. Under the motivation of my New Year’s resolution to be radically sincere, I’ve been working on recognizing my transition points so I can better fix my mistakes, honor my triumphs, and recognize when I’m heading toward burnout.
Recently I’ve been in that third category. I’m in a working phase, and there’s still a lot left for me to do. Sometimes when you get going on a project, it can feel a little like rolling down a hill – it gets away from you, and a lot of stuff just gets forgotten as it flies out of your pockets, and a lot of other stuff gets in your way and gets tangled in your hair and clings to your clothes. What I mean is that you let a lot of important things slip because you think you can’t stop moving forward, but if you go too fast, you get caught up in things that hold you back. You hit bumps that knock you slightly off path, and bash your knees and elbows into rocks. If you’re really close to the finish line, it might be best to fight through it.
But if you’re in the middle of a marathon, then it’s best to stop, take stock, and hit the reset button.
That’s what I did this weekend. I’m in the middle of some important things right now, in teaching, in writing, and in my personal life, and I was overwrought. I kept thinking if I just finished this, or kept working on that, or solved this other problem, then I’d get a sense of control and peace back into my life, but again, that only works if there are just a few things standing in your way. I feel a little like I’m barreling toward a forest, and there are a lot of cool things in there that I’m excited to experience, so I don’t want to crash through in a frenzy, and I don’t want to be too tired to enjoy it.
So this weekend I stopped and stood up, brushed my self off, and took a deep breath. I put aside my projects for a moment. I spent time outside. I had a beer, and some amazing homemade shrimp and grits. I prepped some blog posts. I did some girly things, like deep condition my hair and paint my nails. And I spent a lot of time cleaning my house. I cleared off my desk, did all of the laundry, stocked my fridge, dusted the baseboards, purged my coat closet, and more.
And it worked. I feel better. I’m recharged and ready to rise up and walk into the next forest calmly, and with control. I’m sure I’ll lose my way and tumble down another hill, but I’m getting better at resetting myself when it happens, and that’s progress.
And now, some photos: