Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Ability to Rest = Success!

Every week, as the die-hard freelancer I am, I jot down in my planner both what I have to do and what I want do to. I also have to combine my kids´ school hours with my own schedule, the time they spend with their dad or other members of the family, with the time they spend with me and the hours I need to devote to writing my books. It isn´t easy, of course, but with a good disposition and a strong will, it all gets done, just not at the same time, of course. The downside is when, for instance, I get sick. That´s what happened last week when, instead of being able to devote myself to finishing off a book for which I have a deadline with a Publisher (yesterday!), I found myself bedridden due to a bad cold. I had no energy to read books to my youngest daughter and even less to work. Laryngitis prevented me from cancelling my appointments over the phone, so I had to resort to texting and e-mail.

Even when I´m sick, I find it hard to take the day “off” and not be productive. That can be writing, working, reading or spending time with my kids. I´m aware, however, that it is senseless to force myself and that when the body is ill, it is often because it needs that rest we are not giving it on a daily basis. Besides, when we get sick, it is usually because our body was weakened by the stress caused by the drive to always being on the go.

I enjoy being productive, I enjoy working, I enjoy writing my own stuff, but – who am I trying to fool – I also enjoy sleeping, I enjoy resting, I enjoy watching a mindless movie and sometimes even browse a fashion or gossip magazine. Plus, I need it! Last week I had no other choice but to stay in bed recovering … and make an effort to give myself permission to be sick and simply rest, without feeling guilty.

For me, success also implies knowing when to say “enough”, turn off my BlackBerry and my laptop and give myself mental, spiritual and physical vacations. Even if this is frowned upon in the U.S. Long live the Spanish siesta!


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