Never. Just ask my Mommy.
I was a bit of a nightmare growing up. I rarely sat still, had a mind of my own and couldn’t entertain myself all that well until I found chapter books.
Just so you can commiserate with my Mom, here are some examples of what she had to deal with…
- I stopped taking naps at age 2.
- When our family would go out to restaurants I would climb out of the high chair via going OVER the tray. Yeah, eating out was a blast with me around.
- In pre-school my Mom finally had to write a note to the teacher to not force me to take a nap. I could never understand why the other kids were sleeping! I would just keep talking to my bestie as she would fall asleep, even keeping her awake sometimes. Eventually they just let me stay awake and play in another room as long as I was quiet.
As I got older you would think things would get better, and to a point they did but:
- Sitting and watching a movie at the theater or at home, I’m constantly shifting and moving around, probably annoying the people around me.
- You know that friend that sits there talking and visiting with you but bouncing a leg like crazy and probably shaking the table as a result? Yep, that’s me at times.
- In church I’m constantly crossing and re-crossing my legs, shifting left and right. It’s one of the main reasons why years ago I started taking notes on the sermon, it helped me concentrate and sit still for longer periods of time.
- Tapping of pencils and pens in my hand is not at all unusual
I doubt my fidgeting will ever go away, it’s just a bit more subtle now, usually. I’m mentioning all this to give an idea of how my March experiment went. In a previous post I mentioned I was going to take more time off and begin introducing essential oils back into my life – this is a part – 1 report on that experiment.
March Experiment Part 1: Taking more time off
What happened: This was the big part of the experiment, take more time off in order to rest and rejuvenate. This one was HARD, hard I tell you. First off I would feel guilty on Monday morning that I was preparing to rest while everyone else went to work.
There were even a couple of days where it would literally take me hours to get past the guilt and relax enough to even consider resting. By that time it would be late morning and time to work on some projects anyway, I would get mad at myself as a result and yes of course that helped me rest and relax – not! Good grief!
Another thing I didn’t like is that for the remainder of the week I would end up working later and later trying to make up for taking Monday off from client work. That caused me to be more tired at times and missing our small group Bible Study nights.
What I learned: I started out with too big of a goal. Instead of building the relaxing muscle I gave myself a full day, in hindsight that was probably a mistake. If I could have given myself a couple of hours or half a day on Monday it may not have been such a battle with guilt and feeling like I am not being productive.
I’m a workaholic. Okay I already knew that one but it was definitely confirmed during this experiment. On the other hand I was in the middle of a total re-brand of my primary business and this time off was invaluable for me in getting it done. I launched this week to my clients, official public launch next week! That is incredibly exciting.
What I will do differently: The biggest thing is that instead of a full day off on Monday I’m taking my time on Monday’s getting into the office and starting the client work part of my day. I’m also making a more concerted effort to use the first part of my day to work for me. This includes things like planning, writing blog posts, edits to my websites and after the launch of my re-branded site to the public next week, there will also be marketing and social media networking time involved as well. So far this month that is working nicely without all the guilt, plus it also helps me not work so late on client work during the weekdays. My ultimate goal is however is to get to a 4-day work week but I’ve learned I’m not quite ready for that yet.
Next week I’ll let you know about the 2nd part – adding essential oils back into my life. This has actually been quite a bit fun!
So, what happens to you when you take deliberate time off? Do you run into guilt too?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books, and now with the Selah Journal: A reflective journal and mini-retreat. Start your own daily gratitude practice with our, “7 Days of Gratitude Challenge – A Gratitude Journal Starter Kit”.