Okay, so if my entry title made you jump in excitement thinking there was a new way to monitor physical and mental fitness, I’m afraid I will have to disappoint you, because it is not so (or at least isn’t the focus of this post). My motives for writing this are far simpler and, as often seems to be the case these days, from a conversation with a colleague (a different one from last time though, I might add!). I am, by nature, a bit of a busybody; I tend to run-walk everywhere, juggle 101 different things, make comprehensive lists and many other stereotypical neurotic person traits. So, whilst in my meeting earlier, my colleague asked a fairly innocent and well meaning question that got me thinking. What he asked was “You do take a lunch break, don’t you?”. The cogs started to whirr…
Firstly, to set your mind at ease, I do indeed take a lunch break. Not every single day (sometimes stuff does come-up), but at least 4 out of 5 days every week I take a good 20 – 30 mins to have lunch with friends. Apart from anything, it’s a great way to keep in touch with people and find out what is going on in other areas on the company. But, I digress. What I started thinking about was my life this time last year. At a high-level I was:
- Working on a project only a month from it’s go-live (in the run-up to Christmas trade);
- Entries Secretary for my rowing club;
- Women’s Vice Captain for my rowing club;
- Training 6 times per week as part of the Senior Women’s squad; and, just to top everything off…
- Planning my wedding for November.
I shan’t try to explain why I thought it was sensible to do all of these things at the same time, but I ended-up doing them. I was also fortunate because things went to plan. My system went live, the entries were in on time, outings were planned, I did my training and, most importantly, the wedding went as smoothly as one could hope for. However, after our honeymoon, when I returned to real -life, BAMN!, I came down with the flu. I was in bed for almost a week and couldn’t train for almost three. My body finally spotted I had some free time again and it avenged itself with a blind-fury.
My point – everyone has their limits, even the neurotic, busybody types like me. We can’t do everything – there isn’t enough time. If you find yourself at a loose-end once in a while, it’s is often ok to not fill it with cleaning or working. We’re human and we only have a capacity for a certain number of things. So, I ask again, what price would you pay to find your limit? I know pushing myself to breaking point isn’t a price I would pay again. If you start to feel like you are about to break, have an evening off, go home early and chill out with a film, some wine and a bath*. Trust me, it’ll be the best thing for you in the long-run.
*I would like to caveat here that if you find yourself doing this on a weekly basis just to survive then you perhaps need to man-up a bit, or seriously assess the commitments you have in your life!