A perk of working for a university is that I’m off the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Note: I’m counting today as my first day of vacation since all my anxiety-producing, holiday-related situations are passed.
Downtime is tough for me, as I often fall into the isolation rabbit hole and get kidnapped by anxiety and depression. It’s difficult to predict how I’ll react to downtime -
- Should I try to keep busy and avoid thinking too much?
- Will making plans but failing to keep them cause a shame spiral?
- Will having no plans cause a shame spiral?
- Will no plans keep me relaxed so I feel able to interact with the world?
- Does the answer lie somewhere in between?
Currently, movies are my only actual plan. Today I saw Django Unchained and The Hobbit (in 48 fps); enjoyed the former even though it was about 40 minutes too long and was bored by the latter which is two movies too long.
My non-concrete plans include:
- writing/editing the musical
- figuring out my concentration problems
- catching up on the six New Yorker issues I haven’t had the concentration to read
- visiting the MET or the MOMA
- taking gnome pictures with my new camera
- getting my sleep issues under control
- studying for the GRE
- creating a realistic diet/exercise plan
Spinning about my head is the recurring thought that I need to maximize my time off. I need to have fun. I need to be productive. I need to have interesting stories to tell once real-life resumes. I need to recommit to my life and find fulfilling activities. I need to be a functioning, contributing member of society.
Admittedly, these thoughts and the “set” tasks are too ambitious for seven days work. Again, I’m setting myself up to fail, yet I can’t stop it.
Ideally, I would try my best to be productive and then be content with whatever I achieve over the week, or I would focus on one or two items instead of eight.
Realistically, I’ll get anxious about failing to accomplish anything that I won’t actually try, then half-heartedly convince myself that I didn’t try so I didn’t fail. This week will then be added to the list of failures that cement my title of Life Failure.
Stay tuned for updates on how the week progresses.
Things that Resonated: