The balance between work and rest seems like a precarious one at times, particularly when you’re self employed; it’s as easy to work yourself to the bone since there’s no cap on your hours. But there are natural limits , and when I hit mine, my body made a stink about it.
Not that I didn’t try everything to manage my limits . Even though I usually work 40-50 hours, 6 days a week, I thought I was balancing everything well enough. Usually I wake up in the morning, take coffee and a big breakfast and strike out at the day. I’ve been able to keep this routine up pretty well. But I began to notice fatigue, and not the easily remedied kind either. So I slept in for a few days, but that didn’t help. I tried eating more, which gave me some energy but didn’t help me feel anything but constantly drained. Then I tried meditating with Headspace, that helped a bit, but not the rejuvenating refreshment I was looking for. I spent time gaming, relaxed with some movies and re-orientated myself on my goals. That was fun but still, no dice. I called my broski, David Lee, who advised a walk. That made it worse. Was I getting sick? I popped two ibuprofen and an alka seltzer tablet, hoping it was some kind of improvement.
Finally, at my wits end, I asked God for help.
And in that moment of surrender, the strangest two thoughts came to mind: “Drink water and allow yourself to feel any persisting emotions.”
Have you ever been in a place where the last thing you want to do is take care of yourself? For whatever reason you begin to notice all this resistance to things that you’re pretty sure will make you feel better? Is it unconfessed sin you don’t want to own? Is it resentment towards yourself that strange inner wish for our your destruction that you’d rather not look at? Is it depression after watching the Last Jedi a second time and realizing there’s no way Disney can save the trilogy?
Whatever it was, I really really didn’t want to let myself feel anything. I resolved not to comply.
“My boy,” came a thought again, “I love you. Now quit being a dick and take care of yourself.”
I sighed audibly, “Yes, God.”
I twisted the faucet and filled a glass with icy tap drink and chugged it down. Then I took a deep breath and told myself, “It’s ok to feel whatever you need to. Just let it out.”
As if on cue, my eyes began welling up and the dizziness I experienced began to fade. My mental fatigue diminished and for the first time in a week, I was motivated to take on the world, to work another long shift Saturday, and actually like the guy in the mirror again.
In the end, I still don’t know if I have this “taking care of myself” business down yet, but at least I know I got a God who's got my back, even when I don’t. (Or when I just really really don’t want to hydrate).
I climbed into the car, turned the keys and pulled out of the driveway. Glancing upwards and smiling, I could have sworn I heard someone say, “You’re welcome.”