There’s a certain taste to it A spice thats too much for any rational palate The kind of seasoning that ruins a dish.
There’s nothing quite like it Corrosive poison cycling through your heart The kind of stuff that silently kills
And nothing anyone says captures it The sheer monstrosity of drowning in pain Sinking below the surface of ‘alright’ Thrashing, Struggling, Gasping for relief So a hand stretches to the dwindling light As hope whimpers its final breaths
So, I know it was obvious that nothing was written yesterday. To everyone here, new and old, I apologise. I wasn’t in the best head-space yesterday and the thought of crafting a biographical piece on me didn’t get me out of it. I had a title and everything but yeah… Thursday was a miss.
Nonetheless, I made a pledge for relative consistency and I’m going to continue my best at keeping to it. That said, I believe my actions yesterday lead relatively well into the topic for today.
Welcome to “How To Take Breaks”. I’ll be your professor but call me Doc.
“How to take breaks? We all know how to do that!”
Take this as a reminder then. Taking breaks is something that everyone knows how to do and yet, still fail to do properly. If anything, there’s a slight negative connotation when you tell some people that you’re taking a break from something, either it be work, family or relationships.
Taking a break is not bad. I repeat, taking a break is NOT BAD. Sometimes, it is even crucial!
There’s a phrase I used to hear in Nigeria and still here from time to time. It’s relatively simple, spoken in pidgin (broken English) but it solidifies the point I’m trying to make quite well. And it’s this;
“Body no be firewood.”
In other words, there’s only so much you can take, physically, mentally, emotionally, figuratively, etc, before your body calls it quits and starts to shut down. And when your body starts to react to external and internal circumstances, you start to feel that.
For example, Stress.
Work stress sounds like something that should be encouraged: ergo, giving your continuous 100% at work, 9am-5pm, every single working day but it will eventually get to a point where your body will tell you to cut it out. And it will tell you fast.
There is no justification to let the above happen just because you want to impress your boss, or your family or your partner. There is none.
YOUR HEALTH MATTERS – Physically, Mentally and Emotionally.
And, to be quite honest with you, you cannot give anyone the best of yourself if you’re not in the best place for yourself. Let me turn that into a quote for you to share around.
“You cannot give your best if you’re not at your best.” – I. Ogunbase.
That is where having breaks come in. You can either have it as long breaks (a la Holidays or Sabbaticals) or short breaks, such as days off (even if its a half day). This is the physical aspects of it, the one that applies to work. The moment you start feeling the pressure on your mind and body and YOU KNOW that it’s putting you in a bad place, take a break.
The other ways of taking breaks are usually known; – Watching a movie – Playing a game – Going out with friends – etc etc
All the above help. I must stress, however, that taking breaks does not mean abusing it or becoming lazy as a result. Because that stops being a break and starts being an actual escape from responsibilities. This is a different topic but yeah. Don’t mistake taking breaks for being lazy. Don’t be lazy.
Breaks in relationships are more complicated and rightly so. Because taking a break means something in the relationship is not quite fitting properly. Now, in this day and age, when someone says they are taking a break, it automatically means they are breaking up with you.
When in truth, it should really mean ‘taking a break’. The break itself is supposed to a self-reflection of where the person is at with their partner, where they are planning to get to and the steps that they need to take.
And yes, it can lead to an actual break-up BUT it can also lead to a stronger reconciliation that helps both parties to grow and excel together. Both results are important in regards to your emotional state. Sometimes in life, self-introspection is needed and shouldn’t be missed.
All in all, try to take breaks whenever you feel like things are getting ‘too much’. If not for your sake, do it for your future. Do it for the best version of you.
Responsibility is as light as a feather,
The spring in your step propelling you further till you fly,
It becomes the wings on your back,
Lifting you past the clouds till you’re up on high…
It is the cool shades you wear when you step into a function,
It draws the eyes of admiration on you.
It blots out the stars till you’re the only star shining.
The brightness lighting up the dark sky so intensely,
It only made sense for everyone else to shield their eyes.
Responsibility is the twinkle in your eye.
The confidence in your actions that make everyone want to stand behind you.
The winning smile that lets you past the doors that once kept you.
It is the strength you never knew you had or wanted,
Equipped to lift the burden of others.
It is the hope of tomorrow,
The sunrise on another day.
The assurance that you are in a better place than you once were.
It is freedom.
And it makes you cry.
Tears of joy, yes,
But not without merit.
After all those years of waiting, you’ve finally gotten here,
And it is everything you’ve wanted.
Responsibility is heavy.
It drags you off the edge of a cliff,
And lets you hit the waters with no mask.
So you gasp for air but the lack thereof doesn’t kill you.
You just suspend in viscous space,
As the liquid sears your lungs and makes you cry out for relief.
It is the bags beneath your eyes because you haven’t been sleeping.
How can you?
When it is knocking on your walls,
Questioning every decision you’ve made and
berating you for the ones you didn’t make.
So it renames you as “Negligent”
“You thought you had the right stuff but you don’t” It says.
Responsibility is a duty.
It commands. Never requests.
It punishes when you fail to reach the criteria it sets before you,
Even if the rule-book to your actions have been hidden from you.
It demands the entirety of your being,
Gifting you a burden that you can’t give to anyone else.
It gives you the option to ignore it,
Of which it incrues an interesting amount of interest on it.
So that when you return,
You will find your responsibility ripe with profits that you really don’t want.
Responsibility is not kind.
It is not cruel nor is it wicked.
It doesn’t love you and won’t give itself to hate.
Adrenaline and emotional pain, poured into a shot glass for your heart to drink.
You’d call it poison, I’d call it life.
Life, like the pound notes entering your pocket, but bleeding through the hole at the bottom as you try to pay the debtor for “one more day”.
Like the great staircase leading upwards, whose only requirement is that you step on the head and bodies of others to ensure there’s enough space for you to claim as yours.
You’d call it deplorable. Some would say “Competition”.
Competition as basic as who gets into work the earliest to bask in some sweet brownie points of being “ever ready” to get to work. Or is it the excellence in one’s field as they struggle to show that their work is worth taking notice off above others?
Or maybe it’s the “trying-to-1-up-you-by-showing-you-how-much-I-can-provide-for-you-when-contrasted-with-how-much-you-can-provide-for-me-” sort of battle, as couples hug in public as they joust in their individual mental landscapes.
Some would say its healthy.
Others would liken it to alcohol.
But after the first couple shots, the burning feeling in your chest dissipates as your body temperature rises from the pot of emotions bubbling underneath.
Words start to slur as words decide to stop lying on your behalf. Memories merge into an amalgamation of horror and fancy as you play the “What If?” game with yourself.
Then the world spins, and you taste the exotic dish of hard granite and dirt on your lips to pass the night.
And for a moment, however brief, It all just stops