I just sat down at my keyboard and my brain is empty of creativity or any semblance of useful writing thought. It’s blog post day, yet I can think of nothing of substance to put on this beautiful, blank slate. Maybe sometimes that’s the point? Am I pushing too hard to be productive and to always be doing something? Having goals to aim for is fine, but thinking I always need to have the right thing to say, or even a response at all, can lead to feelings of inadequacy.
The past two days at work I have felt flat and unproductive. If you asked me what tasks I had accomplished while I was there I would struggle to remember any of them. I’m sure I did do work, at least some of the time, but my mind was fighting to tell me I wasn’t being helpful and that I couldn’t help myself to get into that groove. I have this feeling a lot, but usually I can brush it off and see the hard work I’m putting in, even if it’s not one hundred percent of what I could do on my best day. One of my colleagues asked if there was anything they could do to help me find that groove. I tried to think if there was anything that would help, and couldn’t come up with an answer. My usually positive expression was replaced by an unchanging blank stare for most of the day.
On my way home, I reminded myself there was a blog post I would like to write and publish today. Still no concrete idea would form.
Emptiness was all that would materialise.
That in itself is evidence I am not looking after myself as well as I could be. A symptom of this is when I become unable to think of a specific word I know exists. I can explain the intangible concept and work my way around the fringes of the letters I think the word contains, but I can’t pluck the word itself from the depths of my brain. In truth, I struggled to think of the word ‘intangible’ for the previous sentence. When I am well rested, well fed, and at peace in my mind and soul, these words seem to roll straight from my fingers onto the page.
Another symptom of pushing myself too hard is losing the joy in writing unless I really push myself to pick up pen and paper or keyboard. Writing is something that gives me immense joy and refills my energy reserves. But if I spend too much time at my paid work, or try to fit too many things into my schedule, God nudges me by removing enthusiasm for writing. Money is a requirement so missing my weekday job hours is not possible. I’ve committed to playing with ultimate teams for the current leagues so I will go if I am fit and able i.e. in good health and uninjured. Meeting at church and spending time with God are two ways I remind myself of the necessity of rest, so cutting them out would be counterproductive.
At the moment, writing and playing music are two things that aren’t absolute necessity. I love them to the moon and back, but as of now they still live in the ‘hobby’ basket. Hence they are some of the first things to fall by the wayside. Along with eating and meeting up with friends.
I’m better than I used to be at recognising when this happens, but there’s still much room for improvement.
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What is first to go when you find yourself in need of rest?
How long does it take you to recover verve and enthusiasm when you’ve pushed too far?
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If you find yourself in need of rest, listen to the signals your mind, body, and soul are giving you. The benefits will be amazing for overall life enjoyment, trust me.