Emotional Work

Day 328 and Cultural Pause

I love America’s big holidays. Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and New Year’s are my favorite. But not because I am particularly attached to any festivities. Though I do love everything about Christmas. I love holidays because I feel like it’s finally ok to pause.

Having an moment where it feels culturally acceptable to be at rest is deeply comforting to me. I feel it slightly on the weekends. It’s like the ambient environment around me lifts the expectation of being “on” and everything I do is a bonus. I finally let myself relax. And more crucially I don’t beat myself up for feeling relaxed.

It’s a fairly profound feeling for me. Normally I have something in my gut that says I must be productive if other people are working. It’s hard for me to shake honestly. I struggled with vacations and I initially hated sick leave (even though I needed it badly) because I felt I should be accomplishing things along with everyone else.

I’m working on it and it is getting better as I do more emotional work on myself. But I still relish the feeling of rest that comes with a holiday.