As my work hours pick up, I’ve started to feel like I’m running.
Not running in a good way.
Running to catch up.
Running out of time.
Running after all the things I still have to do when it is already 9 o’clock at night.
Running out of breath.
Last week, with one full day and two half days, I had enough time. That full day knocked me sideways but I had sufficient opportunity to recuperate. This week, I was supposed to do three full days but by last Friday at noon, I knew I would have to cut back.
So, I turned yesterday into a half day and spent the afternoon regaining my equilibrium. Breathing. Doing nothing. I think this means I’ve learned something, that I’ve stayed aware, protected my boundaries and taken care of myself.
It’s not that work has been unpleasant. Not at all. In fact, my managers have been extremely supportive, encouraging me to take as long as I need to reintegrate. I appreciate this; I can’t imagine having to fight against unsupportive managers in addition to the general exhaustion I’m feeling. And the work itself is interesting, even inspiring at times.
So, though my head hurts, my brain feels tired and I’m having trouble focusing and stringing thoughts together on paper, I believe it will get better, if I give it time. If I’m patient. Organized. If I move methodically through one task at a time. If I forgive myself when I don’t, when (like this morning), I get carried away on a wave of panic.
I’m trying to reassure myself that, in time, I will get the hang of it. I can still fall into my restful mindset quickly. All it takes is catching myself in the moment, closing my eyes and ears, looking around and breathing in the sky, the trees the smells, remembering to let all the thoughts and stimulation and judgement and people just slip past me, untouched.
This is progress. Right?