Bold Experiment: Learning to Stop

06.24.11 Posted in Working Mom by

I had the stomach flu Friday night (it’ll be a while before I can think about eating chili again), and even though it’s about three days later, I still don’t feel right. Part of it is that I’m not sleeping well. At night, it feels like work to sleep. It’s actually hard work getting my body to sleep. I just lie there with my head buzzing. It goes so fast I feel like I can’t even get hold of it, like there’s a top in there spinning and I’m looking for a way to grab hold and stop it so I can make sense of it.
I’m fortunate that I’ve got some amazing projects going on right now – ghostwriting a book that is likely to change not only my life but many others – as well as working on a video series for an old high school friend and life coach, editing a magazine and working to build its audience, and teaching two classes at the University of Phoenix. The problem is that I’m trying to figure out how best to schedule my days, and when I’m sick and tired, such a simple things seems impossible. 
So today, after trying for two hours, and failing completely, to take a nap, I decided that today is my day off. I’m trying to get better at giving myself downtime, because that’s the only way I can be my best. Until I’m refreshed, I can’t possibly do it all.

And right now, I’m really struggling with the guilt that results from taking a few hours off. Does anyone else feel like this? If I’m not going to work on any of the above, shouldn’t I be cleaning my cluttered office? Vacuuming our floor that’s currently covered with cat hair? Washing clothes? Filing my receipts? How do you just shut your brain off?

So this is my bold experiment: Learning to stop, in order to be better at starting. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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