The last few weeks have been chaotic.
In the span of three weeks I moved back home from the Arctic, published my third book, bought a new house, began the process of selling our apartment, went away for a weekend to volunteer at a sports event, and spent another emptying our flat in an attempt to make it marketable. All of this while also living away from Monday to Friday every week, for work.
At the same time, my wife’s been working two jobs, planning two very important talks she’s going to present (which just happen to be days apart), helped host a martial arts tournament, while also being the person who had to take care of the practical side of selling our apartment because she’s the one who’s home.
I’m not saying this to brag about how much we have going on, or to say that it’s been unbearable because after all, we’ve managed. I guess I’m just trying to illustrate that we’ve been very, very busy.
At the same time, I try to get up early every morning and write. Last week though, I woke up Tuesday morning and felt absolutely terrible. My body ached and burned, and no matter what I did I couldn’t stay awake. I went back to bed, barely managed to get to work, and had one of the worst days in ages.
I couldn’t figure it out. What did I do? I didn’t train excessively, didn’t eat too little, hadn’t hurt myself that I could remember, so where did all this pain and discomfort come from?
From life, that’s where.
From all of those things we were trying to do all the time, all the stuff we were trying to stay on top of and get done, all at the same time.
As it turns out, my wife was also a wreck that day. Both of our bodies just said no that day, and gave us no option. We had to rest up, make sure to get enough food and sleep, or we would suffer the consequences, consequences which were quite obvious: pain.
Sure, I’ve been exhausted before. After a workout or a hiking trip. It’s a term most of us throw around loosely, whenever we’re tired and… Well, exhausted.
But this was something else. This was proper, physical exertion. It was actually physically painful and it was new to both of us.
Of course we both tried to take it seriously, but at the same time, many of those things I mentioned at the beginning of this post weren’t over. We still had tons of things to do. We’ve managed to rest up some the following week, but I know I’m still drained.
It’s weird that one of the places in my life that suffer most when I’m like this is my creative side. It’s not that I don’t want to write or play music – in one sense I feel almost more motivated now than when I have time for it – but it becomes so much more draining to do. Sitting down to write on a story, even when I know what I want to write and have the motivation to do the work, becomes a chore. The mental effort it takes to be creative is just too much when I’m like this.
So what’s the solution and why am I telling you all of this? The first part of that is easy: rest. More sleep, more downtime, less stress. It’s not always easy to do, because busy times don’t just go away by themselves, but it’s technically simple. When it comes to why I’m telling you this, I think maybe I’m mostly telling myself this. To remind myself that it’s okay to take breaks, that it’s important to take care of oneself. And maybe, if you’re in a similar boat, if you recognize parts of what I’m telling you here, you can take it to heart and give yourself a much deserved break. Because you might need it.
How are you doing these days? Creating amazing stories and producing wonderful art? Or are you a bit worn out, like me? Let me know in the comments.
I’m still flying high on the release of my third book, the psychological thriller At The Gate, which is a dark and twisted book about a man trying to escape his inner demons. It has wonderful interior illustrations and a mental health perspective that I’m very proud of. You can check it out here.