Have you ever felt that it is never ending – this quest for whatever you are currently focusing on in your life, whether that might be your health journey, your work projects or something else? This was brought home to me after I got back home at 11pm on Sunday night from the September retreat. I’d given it my all, and arrived home tired, unloaded the car, put the spare food in the fridge and went straight to bed.
I knew that I’d have a lot of sorting out to do, but was happy to leave it until the next day (I always take the day off “normal duties” after a retreat to get back to normal and sort out the house). After a really good sleep, I awoke feeling energised as usual, ready to launch into the tidy-up process and the barrage of e-mails that didn’t get answered over the days that I was away. Firstly though, the all-important green juice and a run.
I spent a good part of the day catching up; tidying the office, replying to all the e-mails I had missed, and the large volume of paperwork, and the important job of e-mailing other resources to my retreat guests who had questions during the retreat which I had promised to answer for them. By late afternoon I was finally done, and the office was clean, tidy and my “to-do” list clear. I then ventured downstairs, and was horrified at how bad the kitchen looked. If anyone had visited me, I would have been embarrassed to show them into the kitchen, lest their impression of me should take a serious nose-dive.
Allow me to clarify. I am not messy; in fact, I’m very organised. But picture the post-retreat scene. Blender still in a crate, dry goods (nuts, seeds, tamari, tahini, seaweeds etc) in bags, sprouting equipment in boxes, the few books and CDs which remained unsold in a separate box, sports bag and yoga mat on the floor, laptop and projector in yet another box … the list goes on, but all were still in the kitchen from where I had left them the night before after unpacking the car. So this got me thinking. If anyone had seen my office that day, they would have thought that I was one of the most organised, productive people they had ever met. Look at the kitchen, and it would have told a totally different story.
The moral? Look at what you have achieved so far and celebrate your successes. You’re never a finished article; there is always more to do. By the following day, my kitchen was likewise back to its normal organised self. Did I beat myself up and think that I could not take the evening off because I hadn’t managed to sort out the messy kitchen? No; I went to a yoga class at the gym (celebrating what I had already achieved that day). Realistically, I wouldn’t have been able to sort the kitchen out in one evening, and it needed a fresh and more energised “me” to tackle it.
Every so often, you need time off from things. And the harder you push yourself, the more time you need. This goes for anything in life, whether it’s a short break from the never-ending list of e-mails to reply to, or a rest after intense exercise, or even from tidying up. Taking mini-breaks allows you to be more productive in getting those tasks done. Wherever you are on your health journey, if you subscribe to my newsletter, realise that you’ve come a long way already, and don’t be daunted by the fact that there is “so much more to do”. Don’t stop striving, but allow yourself a break to celebrate that success. You deserve it!