You always think it will never happen to you (again).
I’ve been sleeping in. Late. Not even coffee wakes me up, really. I’m cranky in the mornings, which is pretty unlike me. I write a few sentences then move on to something else, a different project, maybe nothing productive at all. I don’t feel like writing. It’s a very foreign sensation to me.
Except it’s not. Not really. This sort of thing used to happen to me often, this time of year, anyway. At home, on break from classes. Sort of relaxing, but not really, because the whole time, I’m always trying to figure out why I can’t motivate myself to get anything done.
It always takes me too long to figure out what’s going on, and usually, by the time I do, I’m back to my normal, workaholic self again.
Somehow, I always forget that working hard has consequences.
It took me until this past weekend to remember that, until last Friday, I had been in school since the middle of March, almost nonstop with occasional one-week breaks in-between courses. In the past eight months I have written one and a half novels, over 100 (maybe closer to 200) blog posts. I got promoted at my part-time job. I got caught up in everything, and did what I always without fail manage to do: forget to stop and rest.
So I suppose it’s time to do that. Allow myself this time to rest. Not force myself to write when I don’t have the energy to do it.
Of course I will still post here, of course I will still do my best to make as much progress on my current book as possible. And I will continue to give myself the option of writing a few extra articles over the next few weeks. But I’m not going to force it. I am up for another long stretch of work after the new year, and I want to be prepared. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.
That will always be difficult for me. Not forcing myself to work any harder than I have to. But as we grow, we learn time and again that the time we spend resting is more valuable than any amount of work hours put in over the holidays.
I encourage you to do the same. Rest, I mean. That book, that blog post, it will get written. This is really the only time of year we have good reason to put real people ahead of the ones we make up in our heads.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.
Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.