I’ve been on medical leave since June 2019 and before that I’d been on an extended sick leave. I kept stretching out my initial leave thinking that in a week or so I would be well enough to return to school. By the time I finally accepted that I wouldn’t be going back to work until September 2020, I had experienced conflicting feelings and multiple scenarios about my health and my unrealistic, even damaging, attachment to my job. I was in denial about my medical condition and the thought of not working for more than a year was unconscionable; my doctors set me straight.
Although I am now at peace with the decision to not go back to work this year, I am struggling with how to schedule my time in ways that are useful and enjoyable to me. I don’t want to let my job rule my life. I know that achieving a work-life balance is challenging and often a source of anxiety for many of us. That’s why I am figuring out ways to prioritize self-care in the form of leisurely activities and exercise now so I don’t have to figure it out from scratch later.
Furthermore, I am using the next few months to make headway into three major projects I am committed to accomplishing this year. But, I’m not going to lie…this is hard. I’ve been working since I was 15 and to all of a sudden have open blocks of time on my hand to organize as I see fit has been a challenge. Sometimes my day doesn’t start until after 10:00 am and it ends past midnight because I’m reading and writing or having a hard time falling asleep. How did I ever get up early before? And, how will I be able to get up early when I start working in September?
This is not an exercise for NOW. The fact is that I am making a significant shift in how I approach my personal and professional life that favors the personal going forward. I owe it to my well-being and to my family.
Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge.