Last October, I woke up one morning unable to move. Fatigue had left its mark on every inch of me. I was burnt out. Exhausted. Tired as hell. I wanted to keep going. I just couldn’t. Some of us live lives where we are always giving. We give our jobs. We give our partners. We give our children. We give, give, give. And at the end of the day, we have nothing left to give ourselves.
If we’re also sleep-deprived and on an unhealthy diet – physical health problems aren’t too far away. If we’re neglecting our health and emotional well-being – no amount of money or adoration from others is going to come to the rescue when we hit rock bottom. It could happen to anyone.
I’ve always been good at remembering my commitments, responsibilities and obligations. It’s the Asian in me. But this year, I’m struggling to remember it all. There’s just SO MUCH to do that I finally bought a diary to keep track of things. Do you like the colour? I know I do.
I’m generally a sociable person. I like being around others. I enjoy meeting people – especially the unusual ones. Humans are puzzles that intrigue me. I’m fortunate enough to meet people from all walks of life in my line of work. Like the vast majority of us – I also have to work for a living. Most people I know don’t like their jobs. I’m not one of them. I’m one of those rare individuals who truly enjoys work. But work is still work – it will wear you out and wear you down if you don’t take the time to unwind from it.
So this year, I’ve scheduled in a weekly solo date where I take myself to where I want to go and do something I want to do.
And I do it alone. I enjoy my solitude. I really do. It’s a weekly gift I give myself. I don’t tell anyone where I’m going. I don’t tell anyone what I’m doing. I know a lot of people who are afraid of doing things solo. I’ve never been that way. There is a certain joy that comes from having some time that’s for you and just you.
I can’t speak for men as I’m not one. Most people – regardless of gender – still seem to think that the responsibility of taking care of the house and kids resides primarily with the woman. If you’re a woman that chooses to do that, then fair enough. But it’s not for me.
I enjoy working. I wouldn’t give it up. There is a certain sense of self-esteem that comes from knowing that you don’t need to depend on others to take care of a vast majority of your needs. I also enjoy my personal life. I wouldn’t give that up either. People matter to me. Always have. Always will.
So somewhere in between taking care of business at home and out in the world – I find some time each week to celebrate all that is great about life and all that is wonderful about me.
And what do I do and where do I go?
That’s my little secret.