Today was a really tough day, what felt like the 4th “Monday” in a row. It was the second day this week that an important piece of equipment has catastrophically failed, and unfortunately all the other people who needed my help didn’t need my help any less just because I was overextended.
My mind has raced all week, but today was particularly bad. I actually felt dizzy (or “woozy” if I use the correct term) and had pangs of intense pain in my head a few times. My eyes came out of focus. I was thinking straight, but too hard, too fast.
I was in a meeting with one of our professors and our web developer, trying to problem solve how to sync iWeb files between computers (this seems like it should be easy, but it was a bit tricky until I finally figured out a genius way to make it work when the web instructions didn’t pan out).
One hour and 47 minutes into our one hour meeting, the web developer left the office, satisfied that the interaction was complete. I stayed behind to have a proper conclusion to the conversation, because I quite like this professor and enjoy chit-chatting with her, and really needed to ramp down from that particularly taxing technical interaction.
I admitted to her how busy it’s been, how tough the week has been, how it’s just not slowing down for us. She admitted to me that she often feels this but then she remembers her father’s words to her that a dead man does not regret the time he didn’t spend working. She reminded me that our place of work would keep running without both of us, a perspective I occasionally need reminding of. She told me the most important thing in life is to be happy. We talked about how she makes herself happy, something I promised to keep to myself but it made me smile so much and wish I could do the same thing. She opened my eyes to the importance of taking care of myself, which I am very bad at doing.
I am so far into life and yet I still shove my work in front of everything else. It’s admirable on the outside, but the more I give, the more other people will take. I need to be the example of someone who says it’s time to stop for today rather than the person who goes 5 extra miles and dies of a stress-caused ailment.
It is time to be happy, Poppy.