Getting Out of Jail Free

Nov 4, 2013 by

          I felt persistently blah this past weekend. Yes, blah, beginning early Friday morning. My mind was buzzing and my body felt like it had been hit by a fucking truck (Halloween was spent dressed down; not dressed up). I knew I had to give myself a break this weekend, starting with a get-out-of-gym-free pass. I allowed myself to skip Friday’s workout without punishing myself. Unexpectedly, I didn’t feel guilty about it, which is probably a healthy step in the imperfect direction. (Admittedly, I did feel guilty about not feeling guilty. My guilt complex is fucked. I know. Other than for holidays or vacations, which are non-gym days for me, I have not missed a weekday at the gym without making up for it since April. I was slightly worried that my lack of guilt would result in me giving up the gym altogether, because I’m an all-or-nothing thinker, but not to worry, friends! I was back at that gym this morning. Go grey thinking!) I needed it. I was taking a well-deserved (isn’t it ironic how we subconsciously throw well-deserved in front of certain nouns to make ourselves feel better about something we don’t truly believe we’re entitled to?) life break.

          After work, I had dinner plans with a good friend, so I had to go out despite not feeling like it. (I don’t like when people cancel at the last minute, so I don’t back out on friends unless the circumstances are extreme.) I’m glad that I went, because the pretty lady that I was out with unknowingly drew me out of my own head. She and I have known each other since Grade 11, making hanging out with her comfortable and easy, despite not regularly seeing one another for years until this past summer. (Don’t you love those friends that you automatically reconnect with as if no time has passed?)

          On Saturday, however, I stayed home. I relaxed in bed most of the day, lost in thought and feeling slightly guilty (recall that my bed was the setting of my ongoing sadness prior to The Happiness Experiment, so it makes me a bit nervous), but not caring. I had an invite to go out that night, which I was going to force myself to accept, as per Happiness Tip #2. I had even begun getting ready without officially saying yes. Halfway through straightening my hair, I decided that a Saturday night at home in my pajamas seemed a lot more appealing. I couldn’t remember the last Saturday I spent at home. Thus, I decided that this exception was acceptable, once again mentally waving my decision off as a life break.

          By Sunday, I was nearly two weeks behind on blog posting. Although I’ve consistently been writing, choosing to be internet-free while on vacation (to me, a vacation is not a vacation with the presence of social media; I need to disconnect) has put me severely behind on sharing the final products. I’ve been playing catch-up since getting back from Cabo, and I was supposed to use the weekend to get The Happiness Experiment up to date. But I was on a life break (loving this excuse). Though I’m still catching up while also trying to keep on top of writing itself, I did make some progress on Sunday. I needed a distraction from myself, so I turned to The Happiness Experiment, and I was reminded that my blog is a life break in itself. It’s my escape. Sharing new content and seeing people’s likes, favourites, and comments as I pushed posts to social media significantly boosted my mood.

          This morning, after a not-as-crappy-as-I-thought weekend, given how I was feeling, I was invigorated. Blog stress? Vanished! The gym? Fabulous! The sunny morning? Lovely! The drive to work? That’s another post. My life break worked magic. It allowed me time to indulge in my blah-ness and deal with my shit, while also proving that I’m learning to identify when I need to take the pressure off myself, how to go about it, and how to quickly get back into a happy rhythm following little lows.

Happiness Tip: Take a life break.

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