Right now I am supposed to be writing a blog post about my adventures at the Food and Light workshop in Boulder, Colorado. To be perfectly honest, I was supposed to be writing that blog post yesterday at 9:00 AM, but instead I took a nap. (Give me a break! We got up at 6:00 AM and ran four miles!)
Normally, following a schedule is a very good thing for me. I function really well when I know I what to expect: a regular work schedule, a regular workout schedule, a regular schedule for writing blog posts. I go to bed each night and get up each morning at the same time. I even like to schedule “unscheduled” time. I know, boring, right? But for me, knowing what is coming up next gives me a sense of calm and control. I like to be prepared, and while I can absolutely handle being caught off guard, it’s not my favorite thing. Plus, with a very busy partner (whose various projects and deadlines I cannot keep up with), it’s helpful to know when we’re spending quality time together and when we’re buckling down for work. We look forward to spending time together and can really focus on each other without distraction.
But back to the nap I took in lieu of writing this blog post. Sometimes — Crazy! Spontaneous! — I will diverge from my regularly scheduled programming for some much needed self-care. I have learned that it is of utmost importance to BE KIND TO YOURSELF. I got tired (literally) of telling myself that even though I was exhausted, I should push through my personal development projects: those things that aren’t earning me any money yet, but might some day. They’re things that fulfill my passion and satisfy me creatively and intellectually: photography, cooking, blogging. When I force myself to just get them done, the life is sucked right out of them. I don’t enjoy myself, and that defeats the purpose. But if I choose instead to rejuvenate myself with a nap or other relaxation, I often end up with a creative burst of energy and get the original project completed anyway — a win-win.
It’s a fine line. I want to prioritize my personal development projects because, well, I’m trying to DEVELOP something. I want my experience and talent to grow so that one day I can make a living doing what I love. That means that sometimes, even when I don’t want to, I will have to push through projects. But other times, it’s just as important that I take care of myself. Sometimes I can afford to invest in me and relax: take a nap, read a book, spend time in the garden and reschedule my project for later. I am much better off when I forgive myself for not getting something done and instead admit that my well-being needs to be the priority.
My nap was a good one. It was a beautiful morning. The air was nice and cool, and we opened the downstairs windows to let in the breeze. Hummingbirds were buzzing from one feeder to the other. Carla and I enjoyed a cup of coffee (decaf) on the sofa and then I sank down and snoozed for about an hour before getting ready for work. I felt so peaceful resting there while my laptop sat untouched on the table beside me.
Oh, and if you want to read about the Food and Light Workshop, check out my post on Buried Carrots.