I am a big Marie Forleo fan. I discovered her when I was living in Ibadan, Nigeria and I was wondering what the next step in my life should be. I have kept up with watching her videos every now and then. For some reason, I saw her Facebook post on her interview with David Bach and it stuck with me. I was really interested in watching the interview because of financial curiosity. This interview was really enlightening about finances but the biggest take away for me was at the end. The final segment of the interview covers Mr. Bach’s sabbatical from his job for 18 months. This got me thinking about my own life.
In the past almost 3 years that I have worked for my employer, I have managed somehow to take an extended time off every year. The first year I managed to take a whole month off work to hang out with my mother and just stay at home. The second year, I took a week off to just stay at home and do nothing. I literally did nothing. I did not cook, I did not clean, I did not travel. I just woke, ate, read a book and relaxed. It was the best time I ever had.
Taking the week off last October allowed me to recharge my life. I was feeling run down about my personal and professional life. I took that time to call old friends and have long conversations. Then I hung out with my best friend in Boston. I spent time with myself. By the time I went back to work, I had an updated vision of what I wanted my life to be. I was ready to face the big holiday season.
This upcoming weekend I will be taking another mini-break. I have come to appreciate the benefits of doing nothing. Beyond taking breaks, in my everyday life I am creating space and time for self-reflection and decompressing. There is the time at the gym that is sacred as a time for me to meet my body. There is the time at home when I read a book or sit and watch shows online. Those times are an important part of my life. Generally, I tend to have one day each week when I do nothing. I take less than a 1000 steps because I let myself be.
I am working on letting go of the guilty of slowing down. I feel like others are judging me because I don’t work extra hours. I feel like in order to be respected an adult I need to stay ‘busy’. The thing that has helped reduce the guilt of doing nothing is realizing how inefficient and unhappy I get doing too much. I have found though that when I don’t respect my need to decompress I end up hurting myself. I have found myself in situations where I am an emotional wreck simply because I am extremely fatigued from doing too much. After moments like that, I remind myself to relax, take a breathe in and just be.