I’m way more relaxed this morning than I usually am on a Monday morning. This is probably because I took most of the weekend off. (OK, my weekend was Friday and Saturday, but it still counts.)
I don’t always do that. Prior to my back giving out, I tended to work most of the weekend because I took on too many clients. Then my body sent up a distress signal, and I had to behave myself better, but unfortunately, I also had to go to physical therapy twice a week, which knocked six hours out of my regular work time. (Counting the commute.) This basically meant that two of my week days were only partial days, and I’d have to do extra at night and on the weekend to make up for it.
Working constantly does weird things to your brain. At first, you feel terribly put-upon, but then, you grow to depend on it. I’m so used to working whenever I’m sitting still that I have no idea how very odd it looks. I spent the past week or so at my parents’ house, and after a few days of me tap-tap-tapping away 12 and 13 hours a day, my mom finally asked if I ever took a break.
Now, granted, part of the reason I was working like crazy was so that I could take a weekend later on, but the observation still stands: I work way too much, and not always just because I have to or like to. I work too much because I’m more comfortable being busy. It’s such an anti-Zen mindset that I’m pretty sure Buddhist monks would disintegrate spontaneously if I walked by them.
Like most people in the modern world, I’m very fond of telling people how stressed out I am. My real weekend makes me realize that some of it is a put-on. I’m fooling myself into thinking I need to be busy, because being busy means that all of my work is essential, and so am I. It’s kind of sad, when you think about, especially since so much of my day is waiting for stories to come in, so that I can edit them. I’m literally waiting for someone to validate my existence.
Anyway, the point of all this is that I’ve been casting about for a new daily writing project now that the diet is over, and I think stress management — or at least, stress examination — will be it. I don’t have a clever name for it yet, or anything, but lord knows I have plenty of material.
Image: sun dazed/Flickr