But rest and recovery are required, deserved, and necessary to recharge us for what comes tomorrow, next week and the week after. You know how it goes, and soon months are a blur, seasons are over, and we ache for spring.
But when we get busy, we deny and sometimes defy that reality.
We let some adrenaline and our need to get things done overtake our logical mind because we need to get things done to move our agenda along – and, for a while, we think R & R are over-rated. That is, until we get exhausted by long hours, stress or physical exertion – and then we shift to being advocates for rest and recovery.
Recent days have been exhausting for me, and many ‘things that pile up’ remain unresolved; they get rescheduled and re-prioritized – another form of R & R.
I proved earlier this week that I could still do all-nighters when necessary, but I had no idea the following day would become a day-from-H, with no R or R time available.
Still, it was funny – because it became more absurd when I got home at 9 PM Tuesday, ready to fall into bed – but two things became apparent:
1) I reckoned I’d been up continuously for about 39-40 hours without even a nap. I felt oddly energetic at first, but later, when I crashed, I was out the moment I lay down. A great sleep followed – and I had an excellent R & R day yesterday. Slow-paced, lazy day; I took all day to read two papers, send a handful of emails, read a little, kill some emails, and make a few must-make calls. I watched some TV news, rescheduled and reprioritized everything on my calendar over the next few days, so today begins with a reasonable/manageable agenda … yay!
Someone coined the phrase “a change is as good as a rest,” but they were wrong!
To everyone I’ve owed a call or a reply recently, be patient, hold on – I’ll get back to you soon-ish-ly.
2) You might have wondered about yesterday’s column – BE PREPARED; because, when I got home Tuesday evening, having been way about six hours longer at the office (techie guy for our brokerage, while restoring internet service outage, messed with my computer gear/docking station, screens, and my temperament; he had 20 years on me and outweighed me by 50 pounds, but I was ready to test my MMA abilities if he didn’t get out of my office on demand – remarkably keeping my actions in check and not saying that out loud!) and then spent four hours restoring my computer system to work properly as it had before he arrived.
So there I was, at home at 9 PM, and with no column to load for the 5th*I had one started, but that draft wasn’t ready …
Pierre Burton came to my rescue …
Daughter Carla gave me great Canadian writer Pierre Burton’s book on writing for Christmas a few years back. In that book, he discussed re-using and re-purposing our previously used/published work. He said, “It’s not plagiarism if it’s your work, it’s your words.” I went back in my records to the same day, eight years ago – found and re-worked a piece from eight years ago, about another long night with little rest, with much more rest, as I prepared/re-worked the speech I was delivering (see note below) the following morning after breakfast for conventioneers, private club managers from across Canada. I hadn’t been forewarned my audience of 200 would be slightly hungover from partying hearty at their gala very late the night before. For my somewhat subdued but attentive audience, I held forth on stage for my complete planned one-hour keynote. It seemed both the sleep-deprived presenter and hungover audience acquitted themselves quite well. That talk, the audience response and interaction, and events of that day and late night preparation are largely long forgot. But parts are vivid memories, as aprez-speech chatting stragglers were clogging the corridors, an outstretched hand came through a scrum to shake mine. A friendship began. Jon and his wife have become friends I’m so happy to have. And thinking about that time made me smile through my weariness Tuesday night.
Was it Jon? Was it me/my presentation? Was it late into the night rehearsal of the speech – good luck or good management? Nobody knows about these things, but in my experience, the work, the sleep deprivation, and never giving up on ourselves are almost always worth our effort.
We can always rest and recover. Thanks should always be given for things we work on because whether or not we achieve the goal of the moment – the work is worthy, and opportunity by-products often show up if you watch carefully. Sometimes, it’s an outstretched hand in a crowd. Jon wasn’t my first, and neither was Musing reader Simon’s – both became friends that way. There will be others, just as sometimes it’s my hand outstretched, in a crowd, wanting to meet someone I’ve heard talk to an audience, and I’ve worked through a crowd to reach out to them. It seems I never tire of those experiences.
*The speech I gave was about managing, lifting employees by teaching them how to lead – was well received; special thanks then, and now, to the late Rod Thomas, Gen. Mgr. at the Calgary Petroleum Club, who hired me to do that speech – he gave me the gig, I got new friends, and I got a story to tell and retell.