Dude, take a break.

I have to confess that I am extraordinarily guilty of not taking days off.  Ever.  For some people, that’s totally fine.  For me, that’s usually fine.  But it’s important to schedule days for yourself.  I write it in my planner, I take a night off with my husband, friends, take a day at the waterpark with my girls.  Those days are always planned with other people, put on the calendar, and executed like any other thing that I’d do for my business, but to hold me accountable to actually do it.  This week, the day that I took off was unusual, but in the best possible way.

Wednesday marked two years since my mom died. I reached out to my friend, Loren, because I knew that I didn’t want to spend the day working.  It’s easy to get distracted when you’re home by yourself. And while it’s okay to mourn, that’s not what I wanted to do.  I wanted to spend the day laughing, having fun, and staying as distracted as I could.

Let me just tell you about how she took it a step farther.  A trip to the movies turned into breakfast, pedicures, a movie, hanging out at their house, then an evening of shenanigans at the Oceanfront with our spouses.  It was on their calendar as “Misty Day”.  I also only answered emails once, which for me, is a feat.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized how profound “Misty Day” actually was – that my friends took their day, their time, their money (those activities aren’t exactly cheap), to make sure I didn’t spend the day crying in my cheerios.  Sure, I had a few moments (we went to see “Bad Moms” – at the end, there was this super touching montage), and when I woke up, TimeHop was a cruel reminder of what the day was.  Beyond those moments, my amazing, amazing friends distracted me.  They’re busy people.  Usually busier than me.  24 hours is a long time to give someone when you own your own business, have kids, and have a million other things that you could be doing.  There was never a complaint, a mention of what needed to be done – nothing.

Sometimes, we need to be distracted.  We need to cut off the outside world, work, and everything else and just be.  The day after “Misty Day” and today, I have been so extraordinarily focused on work – way more than before.  I needed to step away.  Sure, I had a super sad reason for stepping away, but I forced myself to do it.  Sometimes, you need to be human.  You need to live your life.  You need to make sure that you’re taking those days for your friends when they need them, too.  Don’t forget to continue to cultivate your relationships just because you own a business.

You can own a business and have a life.  You can own a business and take a day off.  Know your limits.  Know yourself enough to know when to stop.  Know when to schedule a you day. Hold yourself to it. It may completely change your workflow, your productivity, and everything else.  Plus, what’s the point of all that work if you never get to enjoy the rewards of it?

  1. angeldibbs says:

    Having recently experienced losing my Mom (Jan. 15, 2016), I was very affected by your post today, Misty.

    I consider myself strong, and typically act as the glue which holds my family together through crisis, but I’ve discovered a part of myself since mom passed which has exposed my raw vulnerability. Eight months has crept by very slowly, yet I can be having a normal conversation with a friend, and suddenly burst into tears without provocation, or running a random errand and catch myself giggling in the car as I remember something hilarious we did together. Grief is so gosh darn unpredictable!

    Just like you, I am reluctant to give myself breaks, and lately I’ve beaten myself up for struggling to focus and function at my “optimal” level. You’ve reminded me to take a step back, take a deep breath, and give myself a break as the full spectrum of grief develops. Thank you for providing the clarity I very much needed. Now I shall open my calendar and pencil in “Angel Day” for January 15, 2017. ☺️

    ?I’m sorry for your loss as well Misty.

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