It has been three weeks since I got back from my month-long road trip, honestly the trip of a lifetime, and yes, I know this is my first blog post since.
I knew that I would probably put off writing a blog post for a while, if only because I wrote one almost every day for a month. What I didn’t expect was just how long it would take me to recover from that trip. I think I avoided writing a blog post not just because I was tired of writing posts, but because I was dealing with all of the different emotions that stem from being on the road for a month. From finally fulfilling a lifetime dream, realizing it’s over, and trying to figure out what to do next.
For anyone who has been following me for any length of time, you know I’m a very structured person. That one of my biggest issues after quitting my job was the lack of structure. It was up to me what time I got up. Up to me when I wrote, when I didn’t, when I was being productive, when I wasn’t. Up to me to figure out if I was being lazy or in recovery from burnout and adrenal fatigue.
I expected to be exhausted during this trip, and I was. I didn’t quite expect the complete and utter exhaustion at the end of every day, so tired it was pulling teeth to finish the blog posts, and unable to even get up the energy to do a push-up, but what I also didn’t expect is how much I would thrive on having structure in my life again. Knowing there was a set time to get up, having an agenda for the day, and falling into bed knowing the next day was planned was a breath of relief for someone like me. The first week after I got back, I wandered the house completely and utterly lost. I was exhausted, fatigued, written out, and yet I missed the structure of my scheduled days.
It took almost a week for me to even give myself permission to relax, instead of mentally going over everything I should be doing now that I was back home, and feeling guilty when I didn’t do it. Then another week to actually sleep off the exhaustion from the month before. And then last week, I finally tried to get back into a semblance of a schedule, only to have an unexpected guest crash for a couple days, which I took as permission to not work all week.
There isn’t really a point to this week’s blog post, except to start writing again, and to let you know that there is no easy answer to life. It’s hard to figure out when to push yourself, and when to give yourself a break. It is hard to figure out when you need structure, and when you need freedom. It’s hard to figure out steps forward, especially when you wonder if steps in the past have gotten you anywhere at all.
But I think it’s important to realize that different time periods in your life may call for different proportions of each of these things. I think the last year, I needed to learn how to sleep in. How to have a relaxed schedule. How to allow myself to recover. And I think I’m coming into a period of my life where it’s time to have structure again. Where I’ve let my recovery lapse into laziness, and it’s time to push myself forward again before I stall out.
I have a feeling it’s going to be tough to get out of the last year’s vacation mindset, and make myself actually start to get up at a normal time and fulfill goals. But then, nothing good in life comes easy. And I want the results of a structured life, structured writing, the results of working harder than I actually want to. So it’s time to move forward.