Today, I came home from some doctors' appointments feeling really...weird.
I was a bit spacey. A bit tired. A bit unfocused.
I didn't want to work. But I hadn't done any work all day, and I had a few things I was hoping to get done once I got home from my doctors' appointments.
I should be able to, right? I mean, all I had was a 2-hour morning vitamin c infusion (note: this is just what I am doing, as part of my cancer treatment/health journey; always ask your doctor what is right for you) and my Zoladex injection. Nothing, right??
So I tried to regroup.
I jumped on my rebounder.
I stared at my computer for a bit.
I drank some 3pm coffee.
I moved my computer to the table and sat down.
And I caught myself.
What was I doing?? I felt blah. I felt like I just didn't know WHAT to do, for the first time in a while.
I decided to journal it out. And I'm going to share that with you today, so that you can share these realizations...because I have a hunch that some of you may need them, too.
Can You Relate?
As you may or may not know, I'm a recovering perfectionist and a recently-reformed (kind of...) over-worker. In fact, if there was an overworking club, I'd definitely be on the Board.
So I sat down and I wrote. I wrote about how I'm tired and unfocused. I wrote about the brand new Berkey water filter I just bought ("It's fucking expensive. My health is fucking worth it."). And then I got to the point:
It feels like it's too early to be done for the day, but there's nothing I really feel like I can focus on.
And that, my friends, is where it all became clear: I had a case of the "should"s.
I should work.
I should do.
I should push.
Journaling can be a great tool, because sometimes it takes the flow that happens when you are writing things down, to catch yourself on your bullshit. And, right here, in plain writing for me to see, was the old me. The overworking, never done, never good enough, work until I pass out, old me. As much as I've been working on shedding that version of me...here she was, trying to push right on past all of the conscious de/reprogramming I've done.
She was ready to keep pushing, no matter how tired I was. Because of some "should"s.
So then, if that was the old me and the old story, what is the new version? How do I access her - how do I bring myself back to her? Well, it's the me who:
gives herself grace
I'm tired. I spent the day doing things that are good for me and for my health. It's okay that I don't want to do anything...I have already done a lot today.
In fact, let's look at all of the things I have already done for the day, that I wasn't letting count for anything:
- Woke up
- Made a healthy breakfast
- Drove to the naturopath
- Talked to the naturopath about some things I've been trying/researching
- Had a 2-hour iv drip
- Watched a webinar
- Worked on a web page
- Texted a friend
- Researched some water filters (and purchased one)
- Went to the medical campus
- Followed up with two offices, about two appointment schedules (at 2 locations - which also counts as a mini walk, since they are in 2 different buildings)
- Got my injection
- Drove home
- Talked to my parents
- More rebounding
Soooo...yeah. That's the day where I "didn't do anything" and was getting on my own case about not coming home and working for a few hours. Okay, then.
So here's the reality:
Working on your health counts as work.
And even if I hadn't done "anything,"
I can just rest.
I can just be.
I can try again tomorrow.
It's safe to not do it all.
It's safe to take time off.
It's safe to know that treatments are work for my body. That recovery is work. That healing is work. And that that is absolutely "doing" enough.
It's safe to just let it be.
I don't have to push.
It's safe to take off any day you don't feel like doing all (or any of) the things...but
it's also safe to "take off" on a day where you did work that you weren't even going to acknowledge was work.
Working on your health counts as work. And it's a really important kind of work, at that. So rest, if you need to rest...even if you don't really feel like you've done any work.
And so, with that, I'm off to take a bath and call it a day. I've worked hard today.
Relatable? Here are some journal prompts, if you like to start sorting through your thoughts:
- How am I feeling? Name it. Tired, frustrated, crabby, confused, annoyed, guilty, behind ...
- What work am I doing that I'm not giving myself credit for?
- Why don't these things count as "work"? How can I reframe them, to recognize all of the things - no matter how big or how small - my body and mind have done today?
- What things do I feel like I'm "supposed" to be doing - and who says so?
- Am I "should"ing all over myself? (and if so, do I need to stop?)
- How can I honor my feelings while also giving myself grace?
- What does my body really want right now? What would happen if I stopped pushing myself and just did that?
- Do any of these things have to be done today? Or, could they be done tomorrow (or even later today), after some rest/relaxation/recuperation?