It’s so hard to take a day off

I need to stage an intervention with myself.

No, I’m not addicted to any drugs. I don’t have any awful habits that are wrecking my life or wreaking havoc on my family and friends’ lives.

I have to learn to take a day off.

On Monday the 20th of February, I had extra reasons to take it easy. First of all, the bookshop is closed on Mondays, so even though there’s a lot of paperwork and organizing to catch up on, there are no customers I need to work with or publishers I need to call that day. Second, it was a national holiday, so I couldn’t run errands to the post office or bank, and I couldn’t get in touch with any publishers or coworkers because it was a DAY OFF. Even my editing company had the day off (though that didn’t stop them from giving me a February 20 due date—fair enough, y’all—you give me a good job and help me pay my bills!).

But here’s the main reason I should’ve taken a friggin day off: I PROMISED MYSELF I WOULD. I promised myself I would take two days off to celebrate my birthday and to really relax and recuperate. And instead I worked at least 7.5 hours. True, I got a lot done. And I had fun most of the time (that’s the thing: I love my job!). But I do think I need to draw a firmer line between my work self and my self-self. And that’s why I’m disappointed that I ended up working on one of my very rare, precious days off.

So today (I’m writing this on Tuesday, my birthday!) I really am taking the day off. Jim brought me coffee and breakfast (gluten-free waffles!) in bed. I finally got out of bed after 9 and took a bath while reading a book. In the middle of the day! I checked work email a couple times and forwarded any time-sensitive notes to R., who’s in the store this morning. And now I’m writing my blog, something I don’t make enough time for these days. I may write some very belated thank-you notes (this is not a chore but a treat: I love writing letters and love the chance to let others know how grateful I am for the little things they do for me). I may eat yogurt-covered raisins ‘til my stomach hurts while I watch bad TV. Or maybe I’ll listen to the albums Jim bought me last night at the record store. Or maybe I’ll plant those flower bulbs that have been in the back of my car for months.

The point is this: I’m going to do what I want today, even if it takes some work to convince myself that I deserve a break from work.

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