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  • Writer's pictureHeather HK

Be a revolutionary. Take a nap.

I didn't feel so great yesterday. I had been up half the night (hey hey insomnia, what's up?) and got ready in the morning feeling like I was floating underwater in a bubble. If you have sleep issues, you know that feeling. Everything is distant, everything feels overwhelming, on the brink of tears for no real reason.

On top of that, I've just been doing a lot lately, ya know? Working and pushing and keeping a lot of mental load going and just trying to get things accomplished. It's been a rough fall and it's only October y'all!

I think, as a woman, I often feel I need to push through these days. Who will take our kid to school? What about that meeting I can't miss? The chapters I was supposed to read? The grading I need to get done? The dinner that needs to be made?

Many of us are familiar with the brilliant Audre Lorde quote: "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Agate Creatives shared that exact quote when we took some time off a few months ago when we were collectively feeling overwhelmed with day jobs and family and all the things that make the difficult work we do that much harder.

It's a really hard thing to do, at least for me. Call it Type A, call it former gifted kid syndrome, I don't know. But it's really hard for me to just... rest. To put myself first and take a pause and just breath and give myself some grace to do nothing for a change.

But yesterday, I dismissed the internal guilt (which was harder than it should have been), cancelled meetings without apologizing, and did... nothing. I laid in bed and played a game on my phone, did a little Duolingo practice, read a Star Trek book, then passed out and slept through lunch. Made some Maggi noodles and watched nonsense on YouTube. Did a little crochet.

It wasn't a full day off. I checked email just in case. Checked on my online course just in case. But I didn't really respond to anything - there were no fires that needed my immediate attention. I did end up reading a bit of a chapter during my kid's violin lesson, but more because I'm actually, honestly interested in it and not because I felt like "I need to get through x number of chapters today."

It was nice. I crashed hard at night and slept straight through and woke without an alarm. And today I'm refreshed and feeling healthier and feeling happier and seriously - I highly recommend it.

Yes it's contingent on a place of privilege. I have a job that can't/won't come at me if I don't do anything for a day. But also, I just want to say, if you can, and if you need it, take a day. Take that vacation day or personal time. Lay on the couch. Binge some nonsense. Take a nap. Be a revolutionary.

Something I've learned over the years, and I think a lot of people have learned over the last 18 months, is that killing myself for a job doesn't make my job secure. Going the extra (10 or 100) mile(s) doesn't guarantee my a promotion or raise or even an acknowledgement. Every job I've ever had considered me replaceable. A cog in their machine that was identical to every other cog out there. Your job takes advantage of this. Academia takes advantage of this. Museums take advantage of this. The entire nonprofit sector (with important, radical exceptions) takes advantage of this.

So take the nap. Your body and mind and sense of self will thank you for it.

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