The sun is out for the first time in what feels like forever, and I can’t wait to get out of the office and go home to my couch. There’s a cool, dimly lit room waiting for me, and you can bet that I’ll have changed into sweatpants and my biggest T-shirt within five minutes of walking through my front door.
In a different life (or at least a different body), my night might look something like this:
- Drive to Trader Joe’s, despite rush hour traffic. Get groceries for the rest of the week.
- Go home and put groceries away.
- Take the dog on a long walk around the neighborhood.
- Clean the bathroom.
- Catch up on TV shows.
- Get ready for bed.
That “normal” night balances recreation, productivity, and rest. It sounds perfect. I won’t follow that plan, but not for lack of desire to.
I didn’t sleep much last night…at least not when I wanted to. In order to relieve a killer headache, I was in bed by 6:30 and didn’t wake up again until 10:45. Not deal. The rest of my night was even less ideal, with muscle and joint pain keeping me up until 5:30 in the morning, when I managed to fit in a nap before work. I know that sleeping as soon as I get home isn’t wise, but it feels so good to take a break from being uncomfortable that I usually don’t care. Still, I’m hoping to do better tonight by aiming for couch potato status, which will allow me to at least spend time with my fiance before passing out.
Part of being so reactive to the depletion of my daily/weekly energy is accepting what most would call laziness as a necessity. During quiet times, I’m productive in the sense that I’m gathering energy for the future, when I absolutely have to be ready for work and other obligations. Next week I might feel great, and I’ll adjust my activity level accordingly. It’s a constant balancing act that is taking me forever to master. Maybe I never will.
Even without chronic pain, I think I’d still be pro-lazy days. I know for sure that some people fill their energy reserves differently, but if under a cozy blanket is where you find your strength for tomorrow, recharge unapologetically and often.