by Diana La Femina, Head Editor, INALJ South Carolina
The Art of Down Time
Oofah, it’s been a busy month!
My first INALJ blog post, Learn From My Mistakes, came out this morning. (Stay with me now, this is the segue.) I reread it to see how it came out and to get some inspiration for this next blog post. Conclusion: I am a prophet. I can’t even begin to tell you just how insanely true my suggestions for you ended up being for me.
My New Job
Case and point: I just started a new job on Monday. Yes, I have a permanent job! And guess what? It’s not in librarianship (*insert shocked gasp here*). I got the job through networking, listening to unwanted advice, and I took a risk. Of my 7 points of advice in Learn From My Mistakes, that’s #2-5 leading to a position. What’s more, the position will help me get volunteer experience (point #1).
What I want to elaborate on right now, though, is point #6: getting a hobby, or more specifically, having down time. Without going into boring detail, the past week and a half have been exhausting. I submitted my resume to a position on a Friday, got an interview for that following Monday (coincidentally, my 30th birthday), received a job offer, had an interview for another position, and then agonizingly had to choose between the two jobs. I know, an embarrassment of riches and not something I can really complain about (and I’m not). However, it was very stressful and I’m paying for it now.
Yep, Take Time Off
Since I started my new job on Monday, I took two days off from my temporary position to just rest. (I wrote most of this post in my pajamas and slippers.) I slept until 1:30pm (testament to how much I needed to sleep) and fulfilled my plan of leisurely going through my email and playing Elder Scrolls: Oblivion both days. I also had Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion sitting next to me but even reading felt like too much effort.
I embraced sloth and I felt not an ounce of guilt. I needed the downtime, especially if I wanted to start a new job feeling refreshed. And the whole volunteer experience thing? I’m not going to pursue that for a while. No, I’m going to settle into my new job, get into the swing of things, read, watch Doctor Who, play video games, and do whatever I want to do in my free time. Once the weather gets nicer (which feels like a pipe dream right now), I’m going to walk through parks and city streets and just enjoy my time. After more than five years of intense job searching and stress, I deserve it.
You Deserve It
And I think that’s the main point of this blog post: you deserve down time. There’s nothing guilty about it. It heals your psyche and gives your brain much-needed rest. I know full-well just how hard it can be to relax into an enjoyable pastime when you’re job searching. But it’s necessary.
So I have some homework for you: For the next week, you are to carve out some time every day (an hour, fifteen minutes, whatever you can) and you are to do something purely for the pleasure of doing it. Take a bath, watch a horrible TV show, watch a movie and eat some popcorn. I really don’t care what you do so much as that you do something. It will help you be more productive and raise your spirits.
So go forth and waste some time, for as John Lennon said, “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”