What Taking Time Off Taught Me

The month of July was full of potential. I had set goals on a personal and work level. Right off the bat, my plans went to the trash can. It was evident that I needed some time off, take a step back and regroup.


When faced with problems you have two options:
1. Deal with them.
2. Go to sleep.


I choose the first option.


deal with problems


Personal Dilemma

In July we celebrate our Anniversary. I was excited about this. The problem here was my plate. It was too full. I was trying to do so much, and in the process, I started to neglect someone. My husband.


The tension had been building over several months and exploded in my face right before our anniversary. To deal with this and make things right, I took a step back. Looking at the overall picture makes it easier to identify the problem. It isn’t a one afternoon job. Most of all, it needs to be done from the heart.


[bctt tweet=”Looking at the overall picture makes it easier to identify the problem.” username=”pacemakerblog”]


I did not only put stress on my relationship but also on myself. The burnout of trying to do everything caught up with me. My health was taking a toll as well. And in a way, the kids were feeling the environment changing.


As a way of repairing what was bent, not broken.  I gave myself to my family. Not out of guilt, I truly wanted to make amends and let them know I was the same as always. I am still Edel, mom, even if I’m overtired and grumpy. I love them the same despite having my mind on millions of things at the same time.


My problem was to give myself to the blog. My little space on the world wide web. What you see on this website is just 20% of the work put on it. The work behind the scenes is massive. Especially for someone that is not that tech savvy or is not a writer.


Every free second was going into it. Usually, during the babies nap, I work on blog posts and other stuff. But I started putting in more hours. Late night I will be watching videos and learning how-tos. Catching up on the social media channels is like a hamster wheel, and I was investing more and more time on it.


For these reasons, I took time off to allow myself to recoup and give my family all the time they deserve.


Seven Things I Learn:

In this process, I learned several things that I want to share with you. Not only you can take something from my example but also some may be relevant to your present moment as well. However, keep in mind that not all that has worked for me will work for you.


1. Time is valuable, don’t waste it.

It’s a given right? We all know this, but sometimes we get caught on our perfection and forget what weight the most. Having a schedule or a routine help set boundaries and keep you organized. Making lists are a great way to know what you need to do. But remember to include those bullet points in your schedule, do not leave them on the To-Do List.

Organizing your time makes it easier to move through your time without wasting it. Fragmenting your day on tasks and limiting your distractions to the minimum, will skyrocket your performance. Also, do not over schedule yourself. Leave time for impromptu dances and barefoot walks on the grass.


2. Know your priorities.

Be honest with yourself and set priorities. It helps you organize your schedule in a balanced way. For example, my family is my top priority. Therefore my schedule/routine is filled with family time. I also have time for myself (see next point), because you need to take yourself as a priority.

This point is very personal. You need to understand where you are and know yourself, what do you want to do. Once you have that cleared, setting your schedule will be straightforward. I assigned a percentage to each priority then divided them into the week. Some tasks can be done weekly so determine the best day to do them. So far it’s working for me.


things which matter most


3. Enjoy the rest time.

You are important. You need time for yourself. No, is not selfish. During this time do what makes your soul smile. For me is reading and listening to music. If you like a tv show, watch it. Enjoy this time without guilt. I know perhaps the house needs a facelift and your eye is starting to twitch because of it. Still, enjoy this time! You can take a nap, a long shower, go for a run, or do some exercise at home. Take it as sacred time.


4. Have fun.

Why have fun? Because if it doesn’t make you happy, why bother? Once you know your priorities, have set your schedule, and accepted rest time, answer the following questions:
Do you have enough time to accomplish things? Does your top priority is well-taken care of? Are you happy with all the arrangements so far?

Depending on your answers, adjust and answer the questions again. In the end, you need to be satisfied and happy with the result. You have to feel excited to take on the day. The outcome will speak for itself. And your sense of accomplishment will increase. It is a circle. Aim to keep it this way. For not a moment think is acceptable to feel otherwise. If needed, stop and make the necessary modifications to regained the circle again.


5. Ask for help.

Asking for help doesn’t translate into being weak or incompetent. Merely you need support. Do not let those thoughts get into your mind. Having a team is better than being alone and unhappy.

Friends and family are a valuable source of support. Talk to them. Do not let your mind get the best of you. Stay in contact with people. Sometimes just a little chit chat goes a long way. Knowing someone has your back will empower you.

Just a clarification, help, in this case, does not mean people will come and do the work for you. They can lend you a hand, but it is you who need to put up the work.


6. Listen to your body (and your gut).

I have this point because my body was sending me signals I ignored. I was tired, but I keep going. The Energizer bunny had nothing on me. You know you can’t get performance from a beat up body. Giving your body the attention it needs will allow you to take care of your priorities.

Living with Type 1 Diabetes is hard and putting my body to additional stress did not help at all. My advice to you, listen to your body and take care of it. Inside and out.

In regards to listening to your gut, you know, that little voice in your head or that feeling that something does not feel right. Listen to it or at least consider what it is telling you. In my case, my gut is right most of the time. Do I listen to it often? Not as much as I should. But I consider it and make my decisions conscious of the consequences.


7. Be grateful.

Self-explanatory. I believe having a grateful attitude towards all you go through and all the things you have, will improve the overall feeling and outcome in every situation.

Roy Bennet sums it well:

“Each day brings new opportunities, allowing you to constantly live with love—be there for others—bring a little light into someone’s day. Be grateful and live each day to the fullest.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


Appreciate the opportunities bad things bring. Never underestimate a challenge or a path, at the end you will be stronger and wiser. Embrace change, life is ever evolving, and nothing ever stays the same.


[bctt tweet=”Embrace change, life is ever evolving, and nothing ever stays the same.” username=”pacemakerblog”]


To put it briefly, enjoy the process, path, journey, or however you want to call it. Make the most of your life, setting priorities and managing time adequately. Loving and being grateful. Above all, give your best it will be your special gift to the world.


What’s next?


When you juggle too much stuff, sometimes something has to give in. Don’t worry I will continue to blog. I won’t be staying late at night learning stuff, though. There are a lot of projects I’m working on, collaborations, book reviews, giveaways, and much more. In fact, you may subscribe to the newsletter or come back here often to check what’s new.


And for what social media concerns, it has been put down on the list. Therefore, it is going to suffer a little bit because I won’t be as present as I had been. However, you still can check my Social Homes: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ to stay in touch.


Taking time off was not easy, but it was necessary. Consequently, I feel energized and empowered. The learning processes is a magnificent teacher.


All in all, I hope that you find value in this words as I did learning them. Share them if you think it will benefit someone else. Let me know your thoughts about these points or if you have been in a similar situation and what you learned from it.



Related: On Starting a Blog
Read Why The Name Pacemaker Blog






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  1. Not sure any comments do this post justice, the post was so transparent and honest. Looking forward to visiting the blog and checking out your social posts for all things Edel. ❤️

    1. Thank you for your words, Sharon. I wanted to be true about what went down last month and how things are going to be now. I appreciate your support and friendship! < 3

  2. I hear ya girl! I have had to back off a little too. After sitting there for 6 hours today my husband came in and said, “The union called, you missed your mandatory breaks!.” The thing is 6 hours and I didn’t even put a dent in all the work I need to get done! Blogging is not easy!

    1. Ha! ”the union called” good one! I got a call too. You are right, blogging is not easy. But it is rewarding, meeting people, helping, giving back a little bit of what you are learning about life makes it all worthy. Thank you, Linda!

  3. Love, love, love this post Edel! It has been really great going thru this process with you. And I completely understand. Blogging is hard and can really overwhelm us. We want to get things done, but in actuality they’ll never be done. It’s a constant cycle and if we’re not careful it’ll do us in. Take care of yourself.

    1. Thank you so much, Kristi! I’m thankful to have such great fellow bloggers like you for support. The blogging community is wonderful. Much love to you.

  4. Edel, I just love your honesty. I am in a similar situation. Unfortunately, my priorities are changing daily. I love writing, but I love my family more. You’re an inspiration to many so keep your head up high! I’ll be keeping in touch with all of your social media platforms.

    1. Thank you, Latisha! Hope you find a way to balance both. I know it is not easy. Your blog is an inspiration and looking forward to read more posts from you.

  5. The part about the massive behind the scenes stuff is spot on. The tech stuff is my stumbling block. Also, after 60 hours or so at work, where is the energy to write? Time management is huge, but I fail at that regularly. I haven’t gotten much written lately. You inspire me to buckle down and manage time and put priorities in place.

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