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Down Time...

Why does it always seem like I either have way too much of it or none at all?  That ever elusive balance between too much and too little, in so many things in this life.  I only seem to see the midpoint as I swing by on my way to the other extreme...

And so it is with down time.

I am still sick and do not feel well.  Whatever awfulness hit me last Saturday has taken up residence in my chest and has decided to reside here permanently.  At least that is what it feels like.  

My breathing was really hard yesterday and I scared myself.  Not being able to move air in your usual fashion really shows you how very much your life will suck (literally and figuratively) when your lungs are compromised.  Just walking from one room to another drains you.

So while this past weekend, all I had was down time, I apparently needed more.  But I had so much to do...and so I persevered.  Persevering is a great down time killer.  And that would be the reason that I am perhaps suffering longer than I need to.  I make these unilateral decisions about things that are not really in my purview to control...such as three days is bed is enough!  Apparently, I might have needed a couple more.

After stubborn refusal the day before, I went to the doctor yesterday because not being able to breathe will get your attention like nothing else will.  And it was a good thing I did because they didn’t let me leave the office until I did a breathing treatment.  Now I am on like four different medications and hopefully will be feeling and breathing better in short order.

But the down time that still eludes me.  I have two full days today and tomorrow.  Stuff that I need to do and not reschedule.  The weekend is also similarly scheduled and packed with things that need to be done and that I want to do.  So needing down time just feels like a complete nuisance to me.

But that doesn’t change the need.  And I have lived my life in this not so subtle war with what I need and what I want.  These two have been in collision since I arrived here so it seems.  What I need is to rest, recover and allow all the accomplishing to just relax for a minute.  What I want is to accomplish, never tire and excel at everything I do.  See the problem?

So I exist in these two extremes constantly pulling myself from one position to the other.  Meeting my wants always seeming to win over my needs.  Acquiescing to my needs, always feeling like defeat.

I am trying to reframe this life long battle to something that allows for a more forgiving middle path.  But so far, the wants win out over the needs most of the time.  If only I could change my wants to fit my needs, or the needs to fit the wants...but in my case, they remain diametrically opposed.

So I will prevail and accomplish and down time will be slaughtered once more on the battlefield of my mind.  The ability to pick down time over work or chores or other endless endeavors sidelined and curtailed by whatever engine propels me forward.  Wants trumping needs repeatedly.

And I know, really I do, that the body has the ultimate card up its sleeve, because when the want dominates for too long, the body and its needs will lay you out flat.  The needs proving to come from behind and win the race for down time permanently.

So I struggle today with this idea that need must trump want.  Because if I do not make allowances for need to win right now, need will up the ante and in the very high stake manner need drives, I will be left penniless at life’s table.

But even as I write this, I am thinking about all the things I want to do today, all the lists and calls and appointments and I find myself unwilling to make even the slightest change in my schedule.  Want dominates once more...

I keep thinking that I will learn...but I don’t.  And as I write this, I know need is gathering momentum and force.  And it is my own folly to think that my wants shall ever win out over my needs...down time be damned.

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