“QUIT WORKING!” screamed her email. And that one text message. And that time she yelled at me on the phone.
She was right. A colleague of mine trying to keep me from doing the one thing I was trying so hard to not to. Work.
And for the most part, it worked.
How did I end up with five days off from my radio shows one idle week in January? Then have it extended by an extra weekday, totaling 8 days when all was said and done?
It’s simple. I took them.
I had accumulated an extra few days from last year, and then I booked them off for this one random week in January, so I could get more of my boxes unpacked, and get more of the mold unfolded from my brain.
In short – I wanted off from work, so I booked it off.
Listen, I’m the first to admit that not everyone has the luxury of just taking time off. I’m extremely fortunate to work for a company that compensates work vacations. I also add that I worked my ass off to get the chance to work for this company, and it feels validating and rewarding to have this one important convenience available to me.
Here’s the other side of this coin – I did not ask my partner for “permission” to take the week off. I didn’t have a sit down with Jan and say to him – I need a week off, so how do you feel about me taking off days x y z? Instead, I came home and told him pointedly – I had an extra five days off available, so I’m off work this day to that day. And that was the discussion.
Now, if I had somehow altered my availability for his and my vacations, that would have been different. But because I wasn’t, and I needed the time off, I took it and he, as he always does, smiles and nods, supports and applauds. He knows I bust my ass on the daily. That I have a part-time gig, a side hustle, and three babies who require me. That I have two more children who I live with, who count on me to be their bestest friend while Dad transitions them into their new normal. That I have friends I sometimes can’t see, and a host of philanthropy work calling my name. Oh – and hobbies I want to sink my teeth into if I just had the time. So I made time. On my own time. With the time I was given.
And what did I do? I unpacked a couple boxes. I trained some employees on a couple of dates at one of the Gino’s shops. I moved my son. And I celebrated my daughter’s birthday. I went shopping with my youngest. And I napped one day, cleaned my basement one day, hanged ten with my mother-in-law one day. One day, I sat like a cat on our couch in the living room until all the coffee in the pot had run cold and I was still there till the sun threatened to set on another day.
I encourage you to make time for you – however you can for you. Wherever you can for you. Yesterday, Jan spent the day in his chair watching Netflix. He didn’t do the dishes. Or fold the laundry. Not right away. He spent several precious hours drifting in and out of slumber, and Facebook posts, and episodes on TV.
Again, it worked. He needed those few hours. And I needed these few days. And I’m confident I’ll be courageous enough in another couple of months to do it again.
You should be, too.
You don’t have to fill the time off with trips to Cuba (unless you want to), or dedicating to anything more than you and the spots in your mind that are calling you to slow down, take a deep breath, and just l a y still. Just once.
Frankie Care says, relax.
Back to work tomorrow. (Thanks Leanne for the reminders to quit working when I tried.)
— c ☆