This past month has been a whirlwind of activity. Long days at work, an Annual Meeting in Boston, planning travel to Florida to see family, planning travel to North Carolina for Thanksgiving, finding time to maintain my various volunteer and committee commitments, playing in my fall softball league, and finding time to keep up with friends via a yoga class or a high ropes adventure course has all been exhausting, fun, hectic, stressful, exciting, and just, well, a lot of work.
Usually when I'm pulled in so many directions and can hardly find time to take a breath, my body recognizes the taxing effects of burning the candle at both ends and I get sick. It literally shuts down and forces me stop. However, because I had to stay well to work a full week with 12- to 14-hour days at a meeting, and because I have to be well for my upcoming travel, I'm doing everything I can not to get sick. Despite the crazy schedule, I somehow find time for a break. As you probably noticed, I even took a break from blogging. My brain just needed a siesta of sorts while it was on overload from everything else.
Above: peaceful Boston (the lull before the "Frankenstorm," aka Hurricane Sandy).
At the hotel in Boston where I was staying for the Annual Meeting, I managed to make it to the gym twice for intense runs and "climbs" on the treadmill along with iron-pumping sessions that left my muscles sore the next day. In the evenings I treated myself to Halloween movies, when normally I wouldn't take the time to watch them at home. When asked who could do session checks on-site at the convention center, I was eager to volunteer so that I could take a break from all the sitting and sneak in some exercise as I walked up and down the convention center. There was a woman that my organization hired to give chair massages to staff; despite a totally packed schedule, I absolutely made sure I found someone to cover me so that I could take the time to receive a 15-minute chair massage--totally worth it! I did yoga poses in my room at night, and after my feet were swollen from standing and moving and being upright all day, I lay on my back with my feet in the air and my legs resting against the wall, letting all of the lymph and blood and accrued fluids fall back into place. I splurged on new nail polish (vegan/cruelty-free/non-toxic, of course!) in some fun colors; just the sight of them makes me happy.
In a few weeks I'm treating myself to an indulgent spa treatment (expect a post about it later!). It will be a wonderful way to unwind and let any negativity, stress, and tension I've picked up from others and built up in myself melt and fall away. While I can't say that traveling to three different states in the span of a month is ideal for me, the fact that I'm able to spend valuable time with family and friends during the trips helps ease my mind about travel-related stress and makes me anticipate fun times ahead. I'm looking forward to the next Sunday when I can attend a Quaker meeting, calming my mind, letting the Light speak to me, and just listening to what my mind, body, and life are telling me.
In this day and age we are all pulled in a million directions, asked to take on more, and bombarded with all of the various information that's thrown at us at the speed of lightning (Facebook! Twitter! Presidential Campaign! Hurricane Sandy! How to lose weight! How to find your dream job/partner/whatever! What's hot this season! ...It never ends). I think for anyone to keep going, to juggle the constant curve balls life throws at us, to keep moving but somehow find the opportunities for stillness, peace, reflection, and relaxation, we must make time for a break.
All work and no play is just downright dull. Determined to see Boston during the week that I was there for work, I carved out time to visit local restaurants and even booked a ghost tour of Boston on Halloween. Making "play time" proved to be a great way to unwind after a long day and helped me keep moving, laughing, and enjoying myself and the company of others.