|This may be hyperbolic. Maybe.|
Friday was my last day of work until March 5th. It was an incredibly stressful day. Next week is the University's Spring Break meaning that the campus will be closed Wednesday - Friday. The library is closed as well and I decided to take Monday and Tuesday off and use up some vacation time.
Ever since the Unpleasantness at work back in December I have had a pretty crummy time working. I've been consistently ill and it seems like there is some sort of insane personal drama going on with a coworker or it is simply piles and piles of work. I am the university library ILL department and that isn't even my entire job. I'm worn out, frustrated, and wondering when things will look up.
Strep in December. Two bouts of sinusitis. One round of bronchitis. Three separate antibiotic treatments. Pinkeye. Antibiotic drops. A horrid yeast infection from so many antibiotics. I'm sleeping more, taking a multi-vitamin, exercising for an hour 4-5 times a week, taking probiotics, eating healthy, and I'm drinking water and green tea. I've cut down on sugar, coffee, carbs, and fatty foods. I've lost 11 pounds. I should be healthy. But I'm not.
You know what this means -- stress. I'm sick from the stress. Say what you will about that being a crutch. Stress makes me sick. It isn't the short blips of daily or weekly stress, no, it is that long continual drain. I thought back to when things first got so bad at work I went to my library director. January of 2009. The drama has changed faces and sometimes it isn't even a person (i.e. the roof caving in, tar stench seeping in during re-roofing, SACS visits, an increased work load) but there is a great deal of coworker drama. With a staff of 5 librarians and 2 paraprofessionals for nearly 3,000 students that is a very significant load and everyone is feeling the stress. Of course work isn't the only issue. I need to get car and money is tight. Atticus is working on getting some molars and he is clingy ( I nursed him from 5:19am until 8am today), Hope is dealing with mean girls at school, Sam is working two jobs and I don't get to see him as often as I like. I'm trying to be a good mom, an excellent wife, a stellar employee and it is making me tired.
I'm worried about stress because usually my physical health is attacked and then comes Depression and Anxiety problems. The semester I was hospitalized I had strep, bronchitis, and the flu before the depression got bad. I had a bout of depression when Sam and I were recently engaged and prior to that I had staph infections in both ears for several months. It really didn't hit me until the other day, but my physical body gives before my mental health and I should really listen to that. Then I thought about Sylvia Plath just before her suicide (no, I'm not suicidal, just making connections). She was doing the single mom thing, writing, issues with Ted, money problems, AND SHE HAD THE FLU. Things always seem worse when your body is ill. Yup. Listen to your body.
I'm obviously doing all the physical self-care, and now I feel like it is time for some Mental Health Rejuvenation. Sam is at work for this week (he may get one weekday off) and the kids are going to school. Hope has school and I'm taking Atticus to daycare. Do you know how guilty I feel knowing that Sam is working and my baby is in daycare while I relax? Horrid guilt. But I know it is silly, I should be allowed a break and Atticus LOVES daycare.
So what is on my plate for my momcation? Solitude. I'd like to say that I'll catch up with friends, but honestly I just need some alone time. I'm an introvert and I'm feeling drained. I haven't made too many plans. Loads of reading. Long walks. Naps. Pots of Tea. Puttering. I will not check my work email. Or succumb to mom-guilt and spend my time reorganizing the basement or cooking freezer meals. Just the prospect of some down time makes my shoulders relax.
I'm already feeling a bit better since this weekend. Sam and I had a date: coffee, lunch, thrifting, a movie. I even got roses! Today was bright and sunny. I spent the morning cleaning and then this afternoon Sam went to work and Hope was at the aquarium with my parents. Atticus and I napped, went for a walk, played outside, and I even managed to squeeze in a little reading.
I'll check in periodically and let you all know how my momcation is coming along. I am planning on doing a bit of blogging when the fancy strikes, I have booksale treasures and thrifted trinkets to share. I think I may also do a wee readathon on Wednesday. I'll be twittering with a #momcation hashtag. Hopefully next Monday will see me bright, chipper, and eager to get back to shit-filled canals.