Until this very month of April, I had never actually taken a vacation before. Did you know that? Well, now you do. Umm… wow, vacationing is hard. No one ever told me that, so I’m going to tell all of you workaholics ahead of time: When you finally decide to unplug and unwind, be prepared to have to learn how first, then you have to give yourself permission, and finally (hopefully) you take the vacation you’ve been struggling to take. I’m in the last phase of that, so I can’t be certain it’s going to happen, but I think so. Anyway… so now that I’m finally calm enough to get past the “WHAT ON EARTH WAS I THINKING?! NO ONE HAS TIME FOR THIS SELF-CARE SH–” (Okay, so that was actually a total exaggeration. In real life, I’m one of those people who actually never cuss, so the sh at the end was just for melodramatic flair.) Point is, now that I’m relaxed, I have two goals: (1) Work my butt off behind the scenes, so I don’t feel so stressed when I come off of vacation; and (2) start some awesome habits so that self-care doesn’t become such an accumulated mess of a necessity.
You’re Worth It
The first thing on my list of future self-care commitments is to treat myself. That’s right. I’m giving myself permission to spend money on myself.
Maybe. We’ll see. The jury is still out.
Maybe I’ll commit to a one month trial of something…
If I do go for it, I’m going to treat myself to an uber-expensive, but totally-worth-every-penny Cozy Reader Club box subscription. I’m ridiculously sad that I didn’t have the subscription in March, when the book and the little cozy, bookish gifts looked hand-picked by yours truly. Regardless, I will hopefully never suffer the same coulda-woulda-shoulda feeling again, because I’ll have the subscription, the goodies, and hopefully nothing but sunshine and rainbows without a glimmer of guilt in my peripheral vision.
Besides, if you look at the card inside the box, and take a look back at my own “The Reading Club” feature graphic, it will soon become apparent that the Cozy Reader Club owner and myself have similar tastes. So, it must be meant to be. ♥ (Yes, I just put a heart in my post. On purpose.) I even have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to the idea of cozy reading (Coffee & Cable Knit, I call it).
Healthy Habits are Always in Style
Along with this new self-care package I’m trying to wrap myself up in is a new commitment to getting healthy. Would I like to lose a few (thousand) pounds? Of course, but that’s not the real goal. I want to live the lifestyle that I always pictured myself having “when I grew up.” That means pulling on shorts or capris, tying the laces of my sneakers, and running… ooor pretending like it’s possible to hike in Kansas. Either way, healthy habit one will be aerobic exercise, outside of just playing around on the farm.
Healthy habit two will be closing up shop. No, I’m not quitting. What I mean is, giving my office a “closing time,” in which I literally close the door and don’t go back in until the next morning.
Habit two is, by far, going to be the hardest habit to stick to, because when you work from home, it’s easy to feel guilty when you’re doing anything other than working. I used to be really good about working from 9 to 5 and then calling it quits. For a while there, I was basically working from whenever I woke up in the pre-dawn a.m. until well after midnight, then setting my alarm for thirty-minutes to an hour, and starting again. My only “break” during the day was when I was homeschooling. (Let me tell those of you who haven’t donned a teaching cap, teaching even one student requires energy, enthusiasm, commitment, resolve, patience, steadfastness, and seriously happy, playfully unrelenting determination … all things on short supply when you’re lacking a sleep schedule.)
Which brings me to habit three: Stick to my schedule. Come death or disease, now that I finally have my schedule remade, it is set in stone (and backed up electronically and in print now-ha!). If you’re not on my schedule, then I will schedule you in, but you will be scheduled in. No more of this willy-nilly, she’s super approachable, so she must be free to chat 24/7 stuff. Haha. I’m only kidding. I do want to stick to my schedule, but I’m an agent and an editor–it’s the unscheduled things that give power and strength to scheduled things. So… This area is just a work in progress, but I think my new schedule is finally suited for reality, and I’m rather excited to see how it all plays out in action.
Rinse and Repeat
My final new habit is (hopefully) making an April vacation an annual affair. Perhaps we’ll get to April 2017, though, and I won’t feel like I want or need to take a vacation. The annual tradition (to come) will ideally involve backing off just enough to focus on a new April goal: read the Bible in one month, every April. If I’m doing the math right, that means twelve chapters a day, six days of the week, and thirteen chapters each Sabbath. That figures out to be just around 25,000 words a day, which is a completely realistic goal. Reading the Bible front to back, without reading anything else in between is a completely different experience than reading a chapter (or whole book) here or there. Or at least it was for me, and it’s an experience that I will have again.
What about you? Do you take a vacation each year, or ever at all? What motivates you to take one, and what do you try to get out of it?
Want it, too? (Affiliated links.)
Ambiance: Pear Cucumber Blossom
Reading: The Lady with the Borzoi
Drinking: Hills Bros Coffee
I tend to be a workaholic, too. I realized last year that I don’t often “vacation” when I vacation. So my husband and I decided that every seven weeks, we would take a Sabbath rest from our work (it’s easier for us, because we work for ourselves). I had to learn how to rest before I could actually rest. We’ve been doing it for more than a year now, and some Sabbath weeks are better than others, but for the most part, I’m getting the hang of it. Rest is so good for us!
I love that idea, Rachel!! I’m going to play around with my schedule before I’m off vacation and work that in. Thank you!
I’ve realized in the last couple of years how important self-care is, be it mentally, physically, or emotionally. I had fallen into the same problem of working so hard that things I once enjoyed made me feel guilty, too. It’s a great revelation to reach, knowing you need to take a step back and smell the roses once in a while. Easing your grip on the reins is tough, but once you start enjoying the ride, it gets easier. Good luck with everything! (P.S. I’ve found working out has been awesome for burning off stress as well as pounds. Feel like that’s the win over the smaller dress size, personally haha)
Larysia Woropay recently posted..Piety
I just brought home eight books that are “treadmill” reads only, and now I’m selecting some audiobooks to accompany me during outdoor treks. Bring on the smaller dress size! … Er, less stress, I mean. LOL
I JUST love you Jess!!!!!! <3 Take care of yourself, remember "me-time" should never be a last resort or reason to feel guilty; I had to tell myself that many, many times. IT IS NECESSARY, to take a breather to process everything, and take maintenance of how you are feeling. Set your "me-time" goals and stick to them! There's only one you, and you work a lot better when "me-time" becomes a non-negotiable. Thanks for the AWESOME posting and words of wisdom.
Tamara Canty recently posted..The Caregiver: A Lesson in Faith, Wellness & Passion
You’re such a doll, Tamara. Did you know that? *hugs screen*
<3 <3 <3!
Tamara Canty recently posted..The Caregiver: A Lesson in Faith, Wellness & Passion
Good for you for taking a vacation, Jessica! It’s sounds like it was needed and well-deserved! I’m terrible at taking vacations, too, unless I’m out of my house and away from the work I feel like I should be doing. I love your idea of “closing the office” at a certain point – I need to get better at working at scheduled times instead of every moment I can spare. Exercising more was one of my New Year’s Resolutions, but I haven’t done very well with it so far – hopefully it will go better for you 🙂
Maybe we should do a weekly check-in (blog roundup style) and make sure we’re both sticking to our resolutions. Since it’s spring, we’ll call the roundup “Blooming Inspirations.” …Or something a little less cheesy. LOL
I like it! Or Spring Forward? Spring into Shape? Ha, apparently I’m not the go-to person for less cheesy names 🙂
LOL! I like them both. 🙂