I just wrote this post on my other blog, The Bexfiles, and realised I probably should have written it here. Crossposting, hurrah!


 

File 22-03-2016, 10 38 26 PM

I don’t want to get into that habit of posting so rarely that each post begins with an apology for not posting more. But hey. Here we are. I’ll try not to do it next time.

I guess I’ve just been so exhausted and trying to do so many things that I haven’t had the mental energy to post. My thoughts are scattered and it takes a lot of effort to focus on anything for a decent chunk of time. I also found myself completely overreacting and melting down about really small things.

I mentioned this to the girlfriends in my prayer group and one of them asked, “when did you last have a holiday?”

That stopped me in my tracks. I know there are probably many highly organised freelancers in the world who plan and book holiday time into their years. Even with my Everyday Gratitude diary, I encourage people to do pleasant event scheduling and book in things throughout the year before the year gets underway. But did I do it?

No I did not.

Getting into this situation always makes me think about this bit with the fairy godmother from The Slipper and the Rose (my favourite Cinderella story!):

See? Disaster.

I was so stressed about finding work and scrounging cash to pay the bills I thought I couldn’t afford to take a break. There’s the guilt about stopping, that your clients can’t do without you or that you’ll miss out on work if you take time off. And, of course, that is completely ridiculous thinking. We need to rest! If I had a full time job somewhere else, I would get at least four weeks’ annual leave and be expected to take it. And frittering away a day or two here and there doesn’t count, because I never switch off or disconnect from my tasks. I’m always on the couch with the laptop. Most of the time that works for me, until…it doesn’t.

Yay again for the girlfriends prayer group – one of them took charge (while I was in the middle of “but aaaaaah I caaaaaan’t” thinking) and booked and paid for a holiday at a little house down the coast for us at the end of April. YAY for kind and generous friends who know how to look after us when we can’t do it ourselves!

I’m getting so much joy out of anticipating that week, which will be full of wonderful company, yummy food, fun things to watch, time to zone out and read or write or draw or just wander along the river or beach. The anticipation is such a big part of the enjoyment (which is why pleasant event scheduling is such a beneficial thing to do for your mental health). It gives you something aim for when you’re trudging through the difficulties of work and life – “I just need to hang in there until then, and then I can rest” – and something fun to plan and think about.

So let me ask you – do you need a holiday? Have you booked one in? It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something that will refill your tanks. If you have an Everyday Gratitude diary, go to the yearly overview at the beginning and fill out those squares!

Now I have to resist the temptation to watch The Slipper and the Rose for the gazillionth time.