Why do I find it so hard to take a day off? A "Me" Day...
I took a day for myself today, a "mental health" day, a day to just wander & wonder about nothing in particular. I say thank you to the friends that helped me meander thru my day and I say thank you to all those workmates that knew what I was up to and chose not to interupt. So, why did pangs of guilt creep in as the day progressed? Why did it feel just a bit odd and perhaps undeserving? If I treated my employees the way that I treat myself and my schedule, they would quit! So, tonight, I ponder the muck attempting to hang on my day of solitude.
I grew up on a farm in east central Wisconsin. As the cows go, so the day goes. The care and milking of the cows always came before anything else and the day didn't come to an end until long after the chores were done. I remember my first week of trumpet lessons as a fifth grader. We were required to practice 30 minutes each night and document such on a card to turn into the teacher. We were issued our horns, music to practice & instructed to practice if we wanted to be in the band. That night, chores ran late. I don't remember what happened, seems like a sick cow and the outside herd broke thru the fence. Something like that anyways, kept us in the barn until 11pm! I was unable to practice my trumpet that night but made sure to practice each night for the rest of the week. I really wanted to be good at everything that I did. My Dad was a trumpet player, oh to be as good as him! The following Monday, the teacher chastised me for not practicing my horn on that first night. Little did she know what had happened and when I tried to explain, it didn't seem to matter. I learned that the work always had to be done no matter what. An important lesson that many of us seem to take a bit too far. This is especially true for self employed individuals and entrepreneurs.
As an adult, I am far removed from the dairy operation of my childhood but the lessons good & bad are deeply seeded; work ethic, stewardship & kindness to all creatures. Balance is a lesson I didn't learn. My friend Tony and I were having a conversation about "body mechanics" the other day and something about balance. He said you are ok as long as you keep your balance. I thought wow! That really fits in multiple situations. When trying to help someone in trouble with their emotional or physical health, if we as caregivers lose our balance, we are of help to no one including ourselves. Our conversation quickly went to airline safety and who gets the oxygen mask first? We laughed yet the impact of the statement stuck with me.
If you don't take care of yourself, you can't be of help to anyone else. So I breathe in what is left of my day and am thankful for all the abundance around me. I am truly blessed~