I took this week off!

It would be a lie to say that I didn’t half-plan, half-expect my “week off” to be spent roughly as productive/engaged as my weeks on. “It’s really not about the work itself,” I found myself telling myself (and others). “I honestly think what I really want is five days to sleep in, make breakfast, go for a nice walk, and then spend four or five hours in flow.”

I planned on writing a good amount, too, and catching up on some reading — really spending the time intentionally. Days without agendas and calendar events are gifts, after all, and I wanted to take full advantage.

I didn’t do any of this, of course. It would be a lie to say that I heeded the counsel of my partner (who told me to ban myself from the office); it would be a lie to say that I decided to be judicious and give myself a little bit of digital detox, as a treat, to try and recalibrate.

The truth is more boring: I could barely muster the energy to do anything at all. I didn’t realize how much I needed a break! I’ve slept around nine hours each night; I’ve played Switch until around 10am, logged some particularly half-assed workouts, had a bottle of La Fin Du Monde, and ignored my phone and the wider world with the exception of checking my work inboxes 1 every morning. 2

It’s Friday afternoon, and I’ve been pretty happy this week. I puttered around with some home cleaning; I messed around a bit with my personal web page, like adding a list of “current media” to the home page and worked on content detail pages a bit; I’ve spent maybe three hours total of brainwaves on Buttondown.

“Pretty happy”, I emphasize. I have never been a huge vacation person, and this feels less gratifying as it feels necessary — a bit of mental rehab that I wasn’t quite aware I needed.

It will not surprise you that on today, the last day of my sojourn, I am getting a bit antsy. I have dutifully resisted the urge to check Work Slack, which at the time of this writing is sitting at 54 notifications, but my patience is wearing thin. I am starting to plan about the next workstream for internationalization in Buttondown, but even now — after four days of rest and unproductive redoubt — I can’t quite muster the energy for it.

I didn’t realize how much I craved a bit of brain-lamination time until I seized it, and I recommend doing the same.

  1. One downside of running two side businesses is that you cannot exactly take a week off from answering emails. 

  2. “Be sure to add that your beautiful and utterly talented partner made you beef bolognese”, my partner added as she read this paragraph. It’s true: the recipe was delicious. 

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