Pushing through it, but with self-care

It’s the last few weeks of winter as I write this, the tail end of February, and it’s been a stormy, wet week. I’ve caught time outside here and there between the rains, but my riding has narrowed down to a sedate loop on the one path that is gravel and asphalt – every other route is just mud at this point, and I’m yearning for more. My wife has hurt her back and I am picking up some of the household stuff she usually does plus trying to be a decent person and listen to her tell me about it (I am not a good spouse for an unwell person). Work is intense with a lot of workshops and meetings to plan for the year, and that’s really cool but also just a touch more draining than usual.

I am usually an advocate of listening to my body and its needs, but right now that would mean hibernation. So we compromise. I’ll hit snooze more often, or just set my alarm half an hour later than usual. I’ll eat more chocolate. I’ll take today off from exercise, unless it’s a brief walk, or just ten minutes of yoga to loosen up my neck and shoulders.

I will spend more time enjoying the spring flowers I planted last year by putting the planter at eye level so I can see them from my desk.

I will try to do something small around the apartment every day. We are planning to sell it and want to de-clutter, clean the balcony, switch out old ratty curtains, etc. My wife can’t do any of that right now and I don’t have the energy, but I feel it looming over me. Better to do something small and incremental than to let the loom overwhelm me.

When it’s the last half hour of my work day and my brain is threatening to implode, I will give myself a break and do some work-related reading.

What will I not do? I will not hide this from my wife or my colleagues. I want to make it acceptable to have a bad day or a tough time and to reach out for help.

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