I often remind myself of the Hare from the Tortoise and Hare fable. I run around like a madwoman for weeks or months on end and then I crash for a while, just to do it all over again. Over the past couple of weeks, all I’ve wanted to do with my free time is watch reruns of Downton Abbey. Although it was immensely enjoyable to just retreat into someone else’s fantasy world, all those little things I have been putting off are now reaching a level of chaos that has forced me to say goodbye to my little respite and enter back into the real world. The weeds in my yard are only getting bigger, and my mom’s chickens are quickly outgrowing their cage. I’m looking forward to the upcoming long weekend so that I can catch up on my odds and ends as things are feeling out of control. Thank god for that feeling because I know others that get into a funk and then stay like that for months or years on end. It seems like the longer you are in one, the harder it is to emerge from the depths of being funkified.
One area where I feel like I’ve really grown since my 20’s is my understanding that a person’s body and mind needs rest and that I should allow myself breaks once in a while. In my teens and 20’s, I’d just go, go, go until I’d collapse from exhaustion. The only time I would take breaks is when I would get sick and even then, I’d still try to plow through an illness because I had too much to do.
Being Okay with Breaks
These days, I try to allow myself downtime and convince myself that the reason I’m not being productive is that my brain needs a break. Knowing that I work in these little spurts has made me a bit more accepting of myself and the way I work. I have to give some credit to my husband because he’s the tortoise in our relationship and he understood long before I did, that he shouldn’t expect me to work at his pace and vice versa. If I wanted to do a 14 hour painting session and then nothing for weeks thereafter, that was fine with him as long as I didn’t expect the same level of intensity from him. Similarly, when he tinkers away at something for an hour a day, I should be glad of it and not wonder why he can’t just keep going until he’s finished with the task. Generally speaking, I don’t necessarily believe that slow and steady wins the race, but there are many different ways to get from start to finish in life.
Since the bulk of our remaining home improvement projects are at my mom’s house, I’m constantly hearing her say to me that I should take my time and it’s not urgent to finish this or that. This advice drives me nuts when I carve out a bit of time to work around her house and she is sitting there nagging me and trying to talk me out of it in order for me to sit and enjoy a cup of tea instead. Most of the time, I like being busy and when I tell her I’m enjoying myself, she cuts me a little slack. Plus, some of the projects have been ongoing for 4 years and are still not 100% done and I just need closure on a few things. I guess she realizes that in the grand scheme of things if a task takes a few years vs a few months, it matters little over the course of a lifetime.
As much as I try to be accepting of my hippety hop ways, I still always curse myself for not snapping out of my breaks faster. I started weeding yesterday and the yard looked horrid up close and I really wondered why I didn’t do more sooner. Do you have any tricks to how to snap out of a funk, or do you embrace it until boredom sets in or you run out of food and clean underwear? For me, laundry is a constant habit like brushing my teeth, so that’s not a trigger, but other things are, like the bare shelves in the pantry cupboard or the state of my perennial beds.
House hunt News
In other news I decided to enjoy the nice weather, so I’m pulling back on my house search. There is too much garbage out there right now and I can’t say there are any really enchanted places for sale that make me want to uproot myself and significantly increase our cost of housing and renovation budget. I’ll still keep looking at new listings but spending hours every week looking at homes is no longer going to be part of my MO…at least not until fall when people may be more likely to negotiate. At present everyone’s waiting for the rich NY’ers from the city to pile in for the summer and gobble up their overpriced properties. We’ll see if that happens this year. Property sales were at an all time low last year, but I think a good part of that was because listings were still at nosebleed levels. People who are shopping now are bargain hunters and they aren’t going to be paying top dollar at the bottom of the market. Why would they?