When in doubt, push through the tired…

So I started my day with a Red Bull, a sugar-free one, and I see this becoming a trend as I consider getting a case of Red Bull Zero from my boyfriend, Jeff Bezos. His quaint little company is always sending me useful and nifty gifts.

I’m surprised I chose it as my wake-up fuel today- I can blindly fix myself a cup of good coffee after I feed the hungry beasts living in my home. Lately, however, I’m feeling burnt, not “The Bern,” though I don’t want to get political, not here. My real pay-the-bills job has left me far more drained and mentally spent lately, and I’ve been relying on such stalwarts of the industry to push through everything. There’s the occasional ‘little blue friend,’ aka Adderall, and sometimes even these natural caffeine pills I found at Walgreens. I’m not ashamed whatsoever for relying on the occasional boost from everyone’s favorite college study drug. Two of my degrees were proudly “sponsored” by such. I know I am not alone.

Back to feeling drained, the burn, and my often bemused thoughts on how we’re all just too busy. I work full-time for someone else, I work part-time for myself, I go to the gym, I consciously cook healthy meals, do all the things required for maintaining my home and life. There’s friends, a relationship, family, pets- where do I rank in all this? Where do any of us rank the importance of our well-being in all this? I am talking about “me time” (you-time). Getting away for a hike, reading a book (without distraction), whatever floats your mental happiness. Why are we always putting ourselves last? How do we stop and rewire ourselves to fix this equation? I understand those who are parents will say, “kids, kids, kids.” We can’t raise kids the way we were raised (feral, latch-key, riding ATVs, playing with sharp and firey things). I certainly couldn’t do it; you’re the real MVPs friends! You, however, are the most in need of the aforementioned “you-time.”

So how does one do it? It starts with an oft negative word we were taught not to say instead of being “yes people.” To avoid not looking like a team player, to come across as positive and perky and willing to do it all. I’m talking about the word no. That’s it- no. Say it out loud, sounds harsh, abrupt, scornful even. It’s going to be the best thing you did for yourself. I’m incredibly guilty of saying yes too often at work and suddenly finding myself with zero time to write, to relax, to play with my pets, have lunch with friends, etc. Sometimes working extra is inevitable and necessary; I accept when it is. You have to give that time back to yourself, however, to heal, to regroup, to plan.

So how do you all do it? What are the interests you use to wind down, or up, those hobbies gathering dust? Mine is drawing, and recently I purchased a tabletop easel/drafting table for my larger sketchbooks, a few new pencils, and some months earlier, new sketchbooks. They need love, as I am guilty of having the initial drive to use them, but push aside. My old hobby intimidates me, to be honest. In another life, I was an art major, did graphic design, and drew quite well. The years of restaurant work have damaged the nerves in my dominant hand, and I’m afraid to see how it’s affected my ability to capture detail. Get over the fear, over the hurdles, put it in your calendar! “March 7, 2020- ME TIME”

Let me know how it goes.

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