Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been wanting to do it all. Back in school, since my very first parent-teacher meetings, the first thing that was always said about me was “Johanna är otroligt ambitiös” (or in English: “Johanna is incredibly ambitious”). And yes, I am. I always have and always will be, and I’m happy with that. I see it as one of my best traits.
But last week I had a bit of a meltdown. And by “a bit”, I actually mean like major power plant style.
And you know, in all honesty, deep down I knew it was coming. For weeks I could feel the uranium bubbling on overload. But I chose to ignore the stress that was creeping up on me – I ignored that voice inside that said, you need to calm down, relax, take a day off. Take a stroll in the park, whydontcha.
But no. I had way too much to do. I had to blog, I had to write my freelance material, I had to go to work every day (and if you’ve ever worked in retail over Christmas, you know what I’m going through), I had to yoga and exercise, I had to spend time with my man, I had to do the laundry, clean the house, get Christmas presents and wrap them and send them off to Sweden in plenty of time for them to arrive before Christmas, but I also had to save money, I had to plan for the future, I had to… I had to… I had to…
And I was trying to do it all at once. Big mistake.
So Wednesday night last week, everything cracked. I was doing the dishes after dinner, and I literally lost my shit. On the dishes. Yes, it was just as ridiculous as it sounds. But I just wanted to slam something, and then I just wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. This feeling stuck to me all night and I felt like the grumpiest old man… And I felt pretty stupid, too.
Thursday, I tried to hold it together at work, and I think I did pretty well. But I was probably just lucky enough to work with the right people, and having the right customers (you know, the nice and easy ones). Still, whenever I went back to the office, I felt like exploding in tears. When I got home, all I wanted was to let the tears out, just to release the pressure – kind of like on a giant pimple that finally bursts. But there was nothing. I couldn’t even scream.
So I finally owned up to my man and he ordered me some time off that coming weekend. And on Friday I got up, knowing that things needed to change. I pretty much slapped myself across the face, finally cried a bit (isn’t crying just the best pressure release there is?!) and then I shaped up.
Because if anyone knows that we cause things upon ourselves, it’s me. I had ended up in a black hole, and I knew I had to get myself out of there. There’s really no fun in there, I can promise you that.
So I finished a blog post I had tried to write for weeks. I decided that it didn’t need to be perfect (enormous breakthrough, people!!!) and pressed the publish button. And then I yogad (that’s my totally made up past tense verb for doing yoga). I got back to my body, back into my senses, and got my consciousness out of my crazy head.
And then I actually felt OK.
Saturday came and I tried to sneakily do some work, but my man was acting dictator and put me on the couch in front of a movie. And you know, normally I can’t stand not doing anything (crazy, I know), but it actually felt pretty amazing. I guess that just shows it was exactly what I needed. Then, on Saturday night we partied everything away, and on Sunday we did all-day garden work for my “parents-in-law” (what do I really call them if I’m not married to this guy yet?).
And it was the best bloody weekend I have had in a veeeeeery long time, that’s for sure! And when it was all over, I felt like a new person. Monday morning came, and I felt amazing, ready for new challenges!
This just goes to show, that sometimes all we need is a bit of time off. When things get rough, take a break.
To be honest, the stuff that we try to create or get done when we’re about to burst is all just a waste of time anyway. You need to take breaks to recuperate and recharge your energy. You need to take breaks in order to get back in the game – have a drink of water, sit on the bench for a while, and you’ll see that you’ll throw the best goddamn pitch of your life when you get back on the field. (I cannot believe I just pulled out a sports metaphor… Me?! Sports?!)
So allow yourself time off every now and then – be it once a week, once a month, or whatever works for you. You’ll get so much more done that way.
Oh, and remember to BE KIND to yourself! OK?? Good. Then I will too.