I’ve been away for a while. We took a long weekend to go to NY for a wedding, then yesterday I was SIQ (Sick in Quarters, a sick day for you civilian types).
I’m feeling much better now. I’m still a little sick, but I really benefitted from a day in bed. When I was younger, in college and law school (and probably in HS, too), I used to routinely take “recharge” days. For a recharge day, I would blow off class and stay home in bed all day reading, writing, and watching old TV shows.
I live my life at an unsustainable pace. Every morning, I set out to accomplish more than I ever possibly can in a given day, and I push myself past the point of exhaustion most nights. It sounds very dramatic, but it’s really not. In fact, the majority of professional women I know do the same thing. In an effort to excel at work and be the best wives and mothers we can, we push ourselves harder and farther than we would otherwise – often with the aid of caffeine.
Eventually, for me at least, this pace overcomes me. So many, many years ago, I developed recharge days – not consciously, really. Back then they were just “Eff it; I’m not going” days. But looking back, I see the internal mechanisms that brought me to that point. And over time I came to recognize that I was 10 times more functional after these recharge days, so I felt very little guilt about taking them.
Then I got married/became a mom. The number of recharge days declined quickly. Granted, I still had them from time to time. Once in a while, while I was home studying for the bar and Punky was at school, I’d still have an “Eff it” sort of day at least until she came home. But there wasn’t time to have as many.
Then I went on active duty. Technically, if I just say “Eff it” and don’t show up for work, it’s a violation of Article 86 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (meaning it’s a crime) and I could be Court Martialed. I can take a day of leave, but 1) I like to horde my leave days, and 2) it’s a pain to take one at the last minute; they prefer to have a week or 2 notice. It’s not a recharge day if it’s planned out.
So the recharge days all but stopped. And it sucks. Because work and life continue to pile more and more on my plate, and I continue to push myself harder and harder. Eight hours of sleep (when I would prefer 9) is a joke. I haven’t slept more than 5 hours straight in over a year (thanks to pregnancy bladder and breastfeeding), and I don’t typically get nearly 8 hours cumulatively in a night, even on weekends. But I push through, because if I don’t do what I need to do, no one else will.
Lately, though, everything has been starting to fray at the edges. I’ve been becoming more scatterbrained than usual at work and robotic at home. MacGyver was sick; we’ve been having an EPIC battle with our insurance company; and somehow the amount of housework we had seems to have magically quadrupled. I was feeling the strain, to say the least. But I
bitched to my friends, got it out of my system put on a happy face and kept plugging along.
This weekend was as crazy as any we’ve had. Work was a mad effing dash right up until the moment I left. Court went amazingly. It was exhausting as always, but I was on top of my game, and I freaking love the public defender and parole officer I work with, so I blew court out of the water and planned on calling it a day and heading home. Yeah, that sooooo didn’t happen. I had 6 different things that HAD to be done before I could leave the office and 2 oclock quickly became almost 5. Rushed home, cleaned up, sanitized things, packed, and off we went.
I’ll lay out the whole trip in a different post when I have pictures ready. For now, I’ll say it was a blast, but by Saturday I was starting to feel sickish.
Monday, on the way home, I decided that if I still felt like hell in the morning, I was getting an SIQ chit. Which is exactly what I did, and I am sooooo glad.
I spent the whole day in bed reading, watching Cashmere Mafia, and cuddling the Flintstone. It was amazing. The perfect recharge day. It would have been a different story if I were super sick, puking up my guts and whatnot, but I wasn’t. I had a sore throat, headache, intermittent fever, and achy muscles, but nothing too severe. I just needed a day to sleep it off.
And it worked like a charm. I have just been blowing through things today. Yes, I still have an insurmountable volcano of work piled up, but I no longer feel the urge to
light it on fire and toss it out the window throw it away. I am knocking things out left and right, and I know that when I get home, the same will be true.
Now, I just have to figure out how I’m going to get my next recharge day – because looking at my schedule for the next few months, I’m going to NEED one . . .
Happy Wednesday All!