I'm back from what turned was a wonderful trip to Paris. My mom was a truly wonderful travel companion, and we had fun painting the town rouge. The most amazing side effect of the vacation is how incredibly relaxed I feel! I mean, relaxed in a way I haven't felt in years.
I spent the long weekend--gasp--doing whatever the hell I felt like! Brian and I soaked up some sun at a free concert on the Esplanade and row boating on the pond near our house. I gardened, with a sense of desire instead of obligation. Even today's tasks of unpacking my suitcase and hanging out with my in-laws weren't super arduous (though I did need a nap after the latter).
And what I realized as I went out for coffee and pastries this morning (one last day of guilt-free vacation eating), was that I want this feeling to last. No, I need it to. So no matter how much I feel I *need* to take on X, Y, or Z project, I cannot simply do so at the expense of my stress level. No longer will I try to cram as much as I possibly can into every day in the hopes of getting a return on the time- investment some day in the future. I will only do as much as I can while allowing myself to stay calm and present and relaxed.
Along those lines, I'm going to try as hard as I can to give myself one full day off a week--no email, no work work, no school work, nothing. I'm not sure that this is feasible, but I think it's worth a try!