Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mental Health Break

I took Friday off work last week, as I decided I needed a mental health break. Things at work will be crazy this coming week, and I know I will not be able to squeeze in much reading time. I will probably also have to miss yoga for a while because of work. I'm not happy about it.

I thought with the extended weekend I could probably finish up a book (or two) from my Books In Progress pile(s). Perhaps I might even do some proper book-posts on the books I've read. There was an interesting Raymond Carver article in the Utne magazine that I wanted to comment on. I also have something from Herodotus that I wanted to share.

Alas, what fools we mortals be.

Instead, on Friday I went to the dentist. I came home later and crashed for 18 hours straight.

What's up with the dentist? For a slacker, I'm pretty square [Can anyone find the oblique Buffy reference here?] But the 18 hour crash? ― I did not realise I was that burnt out. The first opportunity that arises, my body shut down to catch up with much needed sleep.

This year, I seem to have spread myself too thin. Like an octopus I've been trying to do too many things at once, and I end up doing less. Similarly, I've been trying to read too many books all at once, and I end up reading less. It's time to get focused and just work on one book at a time, one task at a time.

I did not realise I was that exhausted. I had intended to sign up for Italian classes this June ― but I think I'm going to postpone the Italian lessons for a while.

On the up side, over the weekend, I finally managed to push about 200 pages into Bernard Cornwell's The Winter King – I have about 120 pages more to completion. (Should be do-able within the next few days.) It's one of my selections for the Once Upon A Time Challenge.

I have to finish up The Winter King, Caitlin R. Kiernan's Threshold and A Midsummer's Night Dream soon, as Midsummer's Night looms(!!). Meanwhile I still have the Non Fiction Five Challenge on-going and the Southern Reading Challenge is coming up 1st June(!!!). All this reading, with work and trying to show up for yoga class everyday, I'm a little swamped.

I DNF (Did Not Finish – it's a term that I learnt from Ultramarathon Man) on my reading challenges last year, so I really want to be able to finish my challenges this year. I know we're supposed to have fun with the challenges, and it shouldn't feel like we're rushing for something – but there comes a time when never finishing the goals set for the challenges just makes you feel like you're not trying hard enough.

I think I'll take a break some time in July. For a few days. Maybe bring a book along.

7 comments:

Bybee said...

Hooray for the mental health days!
Your 18 hour crash -- among expats, it's not unusual to go and go and just finally crash -- I guess it's the normal stress of everyday life, work & all plus the stress of living in a foreign country. I'm a serial napper.

acquisitionist said...

I would postpone the Italian lessons too, as you definitely get alot more from the classes if you feel energized enough to attend and revise each week.

We are both octopii. My reading slumps are always incurred by the pressure of doing too much.

Dark Orpheus said...

Bybee: I think I understand what you mean - it's not like we're running ultramarathons - sometimes it's just the invisible stress of coping with daily life - it's gradual, but it builds up, then one day your mind and body just switches off.

Maybe bosses should be forced to take Mental Health Breaks. Might keep them sane(r).

LA: Yay, another multi-tasking octopus! It's amazing how the little inconvenience of daily life suck the time away from your reading. Where does the time go?

Multi-tasking is over-rated. But I have not given up on Italian yet. :)

Carl V. said...

Its hard not to feel pressured by reading challenges and that is why I try so hard to make them completable and am very flexible with the rules. I want people to have fun and to succeed in completing the challenge. Hope you got rested up over the weekend and I hope your week is less stressful than you anticipate.

LK said...

The Carver article in Utne sounds interesting...hope you can find time and energy to share at some point (or maybe I can get my hands on the article).

Take it easy on yourself, D.O. The thing about books is, they are always there for you.

I didn't know you were a yogi! I just started a few months ago, and really really am intending to keep it up. I understand your frustration about work just taking over too much time and energy sometimes...

iliana said...

Oh sorry you have to postpone your Italian classes and will miss some yoga but hopefully things at work will go back to normal soonish! Take care!

Dark Orpheus said...

Carl: Reading Challenges are fun, and your foresight to keep it simple and flexible is probably why I'm actually pretty ahead in the Once Upon A Time Challenge. Well, mnore ahead than I am for the previous challenges!

LK: Yup, I do yoga. It's the reason I can get up to go to work every morning. :)

I'm lucky that my yoga studio is in the same building as my office. So it's a matter of rushing to get to class after work everyday.

How's your yoga practice? How do you like it? Alway like to hear about other people's practice.

Iliana: Hey, welcome back. Hope you're refreshed after your trip.