Exhaustion

The unusual rhythm of the past several days has taken its toll.  Although it is now 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday evening, I am about to call it a day, get in bed with a book, and I hope to be asleep within the hour.

Yesterday Houston had an unusual ice storm.   Although I spent the day lounging and surfing the web, I also did some writing, put together a workshop handout, and rescheduled cancelled appointments.

Today, Saturday, was a half-day of work, presenting at a workshop.  Tomorrow, Sunday, I’ll be working for a couple of hours on a project I enjoy.  But work it is.

The work of a solo entrepreneur is to take advantage of opportunities. Opportunities don’t always come on a convenient schedule.  The ability to be nimble, to respond, and to excel is part of makes me successful at what I do.

I am grateful to have work. I am grateful that I work at something that I enjoy, and that I am compensated well for that work.  I am grateful that I have personal autonomy to set my own schedule.  I am grateful that I did not have to skate dangerously on treacherous, ice-coated freeways yesterday to go work for someone else.  Most of all, I’m grateful that I pay attention to my physical sensations and emotional cues that say, “If you’re going to do all of this, and be all of this, it is time to rest for awhile.”

As a culture, we drive ourselves to exhaustion to gain the approval and avoid the judgment and disdain of others.  Our Puritan heritage values industry and abhors laziness.  We have internalized the mistaken idea that unless we are relentlessly and slavishly busy, we are on the slippery slope to laziness and oblivion.  Our epidemic of stress, depression, preventable illness, and injury is the result of this world view.

My wish for everyone:  find work that you enjoy for its own sake. Work when you are working.  Play when you are playing. Do all the work you can for one day, and then rest.  Whatever is left undone will be waiting tomorrow.

 

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