What rest brings

I ended the week exhausted. I’d pushed every bit of my energy to the last moment, gave everything I had, then shut it all down. Now; unlike in times past that did not mean pushing all nighters. It didn’t mean pushing forward every waking moment. However, it meant bringing everything I could to solve the problems in front of me. On some days I had to use every trick in the book to push through the things in front of me. On other days a run in the woods, a meal, or even a few minutes washing dishes helped me.

I can’t brute force things, not anymore. But, I can ask questions, clarify, throw out tiny iterations, and keep pushing forward. These things work if I’m healthy, if my personal life is lined up well, and if the people I work with are motivated to make it safe to fail, test, and keep pushing forward. Last week, all that came together, and I’m incredibly grateful to the people I work with, and for health to be able to make it across the finish line. 

Then I disconnected on Saturday and Sunday. I didn’t log into Slack, I didn’t open Figma. I just stepped away from it all. Did I do it perfectly? No. I got stuck on my phone browsing Reddit more times than I care to admit, I wasn’t the Bandit version (from the show Bluey) of a perfect father. But, I was able to spend time with people I cared for, get away from the computers, get into nature, and laugh and hang out with people in the real world. That break was something so desperately needed. Without it a five day workweek would turn into a twelve day workweek.

So I came back on Monday, still a bit tired—a three hour nap the day before had somewhat helped—but ready, clear on what needed to be tackled, and with just enough energy to make it through the day.

Put another way, I’ve got a lot of stressors at work I’m pushing through; people counting on me, deadlines looming. But I know, from nearly two decades of experience now, that throwing hours at the problem cannot work. Instead I need to prep for the marathon; take walking breaks, use pomodors and always step away to clear my head; admit when I’m stuck and ask for help, and most of all; take care of my body to stay healthy. If all those pieces come together I’ll be able to make it to the end of the week for the next rest.

I say all this to share that it’s not easy. Some days, some weeks, feel incredibly hard. My body fails me and I get sick more often than I’d like. But to each thing there is a season of life, and often if I have a rough day or week it’s followed by a period of time that’s either not as bad, or downright amazing

So to you amazing reader, you’ve got this. It’s not easy, and I’m sorry. I wish it was. But know that forcing yourself through isn’t the answer, you’ve got this.