Lessons from a tired mind.

It’s Friday. Time for a round-up of the week’s Lessons Learned.

I think I should preface this whole post with an excerpt from the transcript of my mind chatter this week:

Hamster-wheel mind: “Wow! I’m so tired. I wonder why I’m so tired? I shouldn’t be this tired. But, wow, am I tired!”

Compassionate aware mind: “Um, honey? You’re tired because this is your sixteenth day of working in a row. So please let’s just take a nap already.”

So, while I can look back with satisfaction on the accomplishments of my week, they came at a price. And I am reminded for the umteenth time why I have rules about unplugging regularly.

Under these circumstances, it’s unrealistic to expect to be able to sustain the kind of learning I did last week. And to prove it – here’s the one lesson I am able to glean from my week.

Working in this intense way is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Highs from the cool, exciting stuff. Lows from crashing from that stuff.

And being on a roller coaster makes it nearly impossible to engage in the maintenance activities that I find to be so stabilizing.  For me, maintenance activities – cleaning and laundry and cooking and dog walking and filing and whatnot – are the complex carbohydrates that keep me from crashing after the sugar highs. Maintenance normalizes things.

It wasn’t so much having such significant tasks on my to-do list that was so exhausting. It was how they squeezed out the seemingly less significant routine stuff that robbed me of small opportunities to recharge.

So, for the umteenth time, I am reminded to not set myself up for this. Way more lead time, honey, way more lead time…


2 Responses to “Lessons from a tired mind.”

  1. 1 Sarah Bray September 25, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    For the past couple of years, I’ve chalked the roller coaster thing to “just my way of doing things.” I’m finally realizing that it’s going to kill me if I don’t find a new way. So…I’m not working this weekend, as much as I want to “get ahead for next week”. It’s so hard. But I’m looking at it as a very productive activity, so hopefully that will help me stick to it. :)

    • 2 Cairene September 28, 2009 at 11:41 am

      @Sarah –
      So curious about how your weekend without work went. Kudos to you for trying to find ways to get off the roller coaster so it doesn’t kill you. We would like to have your delightful presence around for as long as possible. :)

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Third Hand Works

from overwhelmed to ready for anything | organization and time management for people in their "right" minds | administrative guidance for independent creative professionals [more info]



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