We all need a day off

Why is it that I wait until I:

  • Just. Can’t. Go. On. Before I take a break?
  • Am. Totally. Exhausted. Before I stop and rest?
  • Feel. Completely. Broken. Before I schedule time away?
Tired. So tired.

Tired. So tired.

Dry. Parched.

Dry. Parched.

Wilting. Wilted.

Wilting. Wilted.

Do you do that, too?

Is it human nature, do you think?

Or are some of us just wired to go until we’re forced to collapse?

Perhaps it comes with being a mom. Doing for your family no matter how tired you might be.

Perhaps it comes with working for (and by) yourself. Knowing that you don’t have employees to pawn work off on, yet realizing the work must be done.

By Thursday night, I felt so spent that I knew my only recourse was to take Friday off.

To renew my psyche.

So I went to the country to visit a friend.

Something about fields of corn and soybeans in full growth mode soothes my soul.

Soybean field.

Soybean field.

We sat outside. And swung. And watched her puppies.

The air smelled clean. The trees swayed in a gentle cool breeze. The sun warmed our arms and faces.

Maple shade tree.

Maple shade tree.

Then we did a bit of shopping.

I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, so I felt no urge to buy. Just to look. And, as my sister says, To touch and roll the pretty things.

To soak in the colors and materials. To anticipate the changing of the seasons based on the items displayed.

And that night I slept the sleep of an old dog — deep, refreshing, rejuvenating. Like flowers after a soaking rain.

Colorful vinca.

Colorful vinca.

Purple petunias.

Purple petunias.

Since it feels so good to take a vacation day now and then, I wonder why it takes so long for me to take one?

What’s stopping you from enjoying the present?

22 thoughts on “We all need a day off

  1. Debbie, what a beautiful reminder of such a simple choice (though why isn’t it simple?)..to break away before I really need to and maybe just for the heck of it. Delightfully refreshing. I love your photos, too. I’m bookmarking this to remind myself to stop more often and breathe in the beauty around me. Thank you!

    • You’re most welcome, Kathy — I’m glad it resonated with you! I’ve heard it said that if we don’t slow down voluntarily, we’ll be forced to do so. That’s an option none of us wants!

  2. I’ll tell you why, Debbie. Because there’s not enough hours in the day to get everything we need to do, done. In my case I get up early with my dogs and stay up well past their bedtime, trying to squeeze in doing one more thing. Today, though, was different. After I walked them this morning, I returned home and normally I would be getting ready for Zumba. This morning I couldn’t do it. I was ready to collapse from lack of sleep. So I went back to bed and slept until 10:30! Boy, did that feel good!

    • Good for you, Monica! Catching a few more winks is always a great idea, particularly if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends. If your dogs are like Dallas, they seem instinctively to know when it’s time to nap — maybe we ought to follow their lead?!

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful day off–what fun. I try to observe the cocktail hour every night. I sit out on my patio with my pups and beverage of choice (ranging from ice tea to wine) which is a nice way to wind down. August is beyond busy at my house, but I did escape to see the Jobs movie with Cole and while the movie wasn’t very good the outing was fun. Generally what stops me from getting away for the day is that I really love what I’m doing and just forget that burn out happens to everyone, and then one morning BAM burn out nails me and I realize that I need a break for a day or for a week.
    The pictures are so pretty.

    • Thanks, Katybeth. Your outing with Cole sounds refreshing; wish Domer were here because he always knows when I need a break. Or a good belly-laugh! Observing the cocktail hour on a routine basis is a great idea, too — I just might have to steal it!

  4. Debbie, between the photos and your words, it looks and sounds that you did exactly what you needed to do…renew your psyche.

    And good for you!

    Yes, sometimes I get that way myself. I think I tend to stretch myself more than I should. But I always hear (or actually feel) something inside myself that says, “Okay Ron…you need to chill and just be still.”

    For me, that usually means reconnecting with nature. I get so MUCH from simply spending the day outside and communing with the earth. I actually feel recharged and renewed! Also, I think nature has a way of healing from whatever ails us (mentally, emotionally and physically).

    Glad you took the time for YOU.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear lady!

    P.S. the color of those petunias is gorgeous!

    • Ron, you’re wiser than I in listening to that tiny voice that tells you when to stop and recharge. Too often, I hear the thing but ignore it completely. “Just let me scratch off one more thing from my To-Do List,” I tell it, then go about scratching off a dozen more things, ha!

      Nature has such a positive influence on us humans. Animals, too. If I can exercise outside in the fresh air and sunshine, I generally find I sleep better at night.

      I’d actually have preferred being beside some water — pond, beach, lake, river — but that wasn’t possible. I’m still banking on a REAL vacation before too much longer!

  5. I don’t know why we do until we can’t and then rest. Glad you got a much deserved break…nature has a way of bringing us back.

  6. Debbie, you couldn’t be more right! I find it hard to take days off during the year but always find time to disconnet come summer. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t recharge my batteries during this time. My knee surgery left me with plenty of time at home and while I thought I would lose my mind many days, I have to admit that I needed the time off. It’s not onke ly taught me how to go to bed at a decent hour, but also the importance of taking regular naps–without feeling guilty! My apologies for my absence, my friend. As always, the WiFi signal here is pitiful and I don’t have the patience to wait hours for pages to load! ha! By the way, I love the pictorial representation in this post! Just perfect! Hugs! 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Bella. Yes, I suppose recuperating from surgery is one way our bodies tell us they need to rest. I just didn’t want a forced rest, so I decided to kick back and relax first. It surely did the trick — now, if I can just remember how GOOD it feels, maybe I won’t wait so long next time!

  7. One of the things that’s helped me tremendously is decluttering my life, just as though it were a closet. Anything that comes with a “should” or “ought” attached to it gets scrutinized. Anything that doesn’t somehow nourish my life gets the once over. Do I need this night out? That magazine? This hour at the computer? Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t.

    Things I’ve gotten rid of include the television, social media and nights out having drinks (not conversation and drinks, just drinks). I’ve also given up thinking I need to solve other people’s problems, worrying about what other people think of my opinions (well, as best I can, anyway) and taking responsibility for things that aren’t my responsibility.

    The one thing I always give myself is a good night’s sleep. Physical rest is critical for coping with the daily challenges.

    It hasn’t been easy, and I still work at it, but these things have made a huge difference in my life. There are places I want to go, traveling to do, but I don’t think of that in terms of “taking a vacation”. It’s just a different way of doing what I try to do every day.

    • How wise you are, Miss Linda!! Yes, getting a decent night’s rest is mandatory, but I must confess I’m not so good about the other stuff you mentioned. Getting rid of social media? Nope, probably not gonna happen. Neither is shedding responsibilities. However, I don’t tie myself to the TV, and I can’t remember when the last time was that I went out for drinks!

      I like the analogy of emptying a closet. That, I do on a fairly regular basis. Maybe I need to think of LIFE that way. Thanks for the suggestion!

  8. This sounds like a fun, and much needed, day of rest! It is nice to take time off, but I think we just keep going because we think of so much we have to get done, and taking a day off will just put us even more behind. Still, those mental health days make us more productive.

    • I haven’t taken a real vacation all year, Janna, and that’s definitely something I long to do. You’re right — every day is so jam-packed that it’s hard to break away, knowing how much MORE will be there waiting for me. Sigh. What’s the saying, The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!!

  9. Is there any tonic as invigorating and refreshing as nature? What a lovely day in lovely fields of food and flowers you took. I’m high-fiving you from here Debbie!

  10. Very unique post. The first few picture are of my life with a chronic illness. That’s me everyday. But when I keep my eyes on the Lord….I have the lower pictures of green and luscious green pasture. It’s not good to wait until we’re worn out….but as moms…women….that’s what we do. We put pressure on ourselves…we want to do it all. I believe we are motivated by love. But I really think its pride or our superwoman mentality. Nah…it’s love and care…let’s go with that!

    • You’re probably right on both counts, Tanya — love and care AND a touch of pride. It’s hard delegating work to others without feeling like you’re slacking off, though. I don’t particularly like those dry, barren times, but I suppose they’re necessary so we’ll fully appreciate the lush, green ones!

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