Take a Break

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It has been two whole weeks since I have written an article. I had been feeling that I needed a break from writing. I figured that the break would have lasted much longer. I wanted to catch up on tasks, energy and rest. Instead, all I could think about (in my free time) was writing.

When we engage in anything, for any length of time, it can become something that we do without thinking. We can take things for granted. We can become bored. We can even wonder if it is something that we want to continue doing.

Whether we are talking about a job, a relationship, a responsibility, an activity or otherwise, we often need to step outside of whatever this thing is, for a brief period to time, before we can truly realize how much we miss it, need it, love it, dislike it or need to find closure on it.

For a while, I was feeling that writing was becoming a chore. I would beat myself up over leaving the task until the last minute. I was concerned about repeating topics that I have written about before. I would stress over checking my spelling, grammar and language because I would often send in several versions of my article, finding new errors every time I read it over.

When I decided to take a break, I wasn’t sure if I would even want to write again. I felt that maybe it was time to hang up my column and maybe delve into some new and creative endeavour. Instead, I went into withdrawal. I would wake up thinking about what I wanted to write about, question my decision and worry that readers might be disappointed.

The time that I thought I would save, by not writing, ended up turning into much more time thinking about why I stopped writing. You see, life is like this…

Our lives have many things in them that we would define as routine, repetitive, mundane, status quo, or even boring. Even though they may have started as much more exciting, we have often become accustomed to the activities we engage in to the point that the activities have lost their luster, dulled their spark, or dimmed their appeal.

Like a marriage, a friendship, a task, or otherwise, it will sometimes take a period of time away from each other before we realize how much we miss the person, the relationship, the people or the activity. We just need to briefly jump outside of our routine to realize that we take people and things for granted and often think that there is something better on the other side.

All it took for me was two weeks of thinking that I didn’t have to write anymore, for me to realize that it has now become part of who I am. I get a lot of pleasure, energy and satisfaction from sharing stories and experiences with others; even when the stories expose my most vulnerable moments.

Stopping the process of writing, even briefly, felt like I was denying myself the remarkable opportunity to express myself, reflect on life’s daily shenanigans and make sense of the world around me. Writing in my journal was just not the same. It was like doing the work to get all dressed up, but not even leaving the house; a bit anticlimactic.

There is something amazing about being able to write about all of my challenges, fumbles, chaos, obstacles and sorrows and still feeling like I can walk out into the world. I don’t mind airing my life woes because many of us are dealing with some of same issues, but not comfortable expressing them.

I don’t mind being a voice for things that people really want to discuss. We are all human and there is a sense of connectedness when we realize that most of us are a big puddle of tears on the floor, at least some of the time. The people around us are likely just as messed up as we are.

Maybe if you are feeling unsettled, bored, unhappy, confused, frustrated, lost, uninspired or uncertain about something in your life, perhaps it is time to take a mini break, shake up your routine, do something differently, take yourself on a field trip, spend some time alone, visit a friend in another city, take a few days off work, schedule a vacation if possible, or have a ‘you’ day.

You may be surprised how, when you break away from what you engage in on a daily or weekly basis or from the thing that may be ailing you, how much you can grow to appreciate what you do have.

I appreciate that I have an audience of readers who enjoy reading this column. I appreciate that I have been given a platform to express whatever is on my mind. I appreciate living in a country where I am able to express myself freely. I appreciate that people will not judge if I happen to make spelling or grammatical errors or repeat topics that I feel are important to discuss.

Thank you all for reading today. Thank you for growing with me; in this thing we call life. We may not be perfect in our application but if we open our minds and our hearts to a path of life improvement, we can all perhaps add joy, meaning, purpose and fun to our time here on earth. Since life is short, why not?

‘Sometimes you have to take a step back and realize what’s important in your life, what you can live with. But more importantly what you can’t live without. ~ Author Unknown

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