I’m tired. Or sick. I haven’t made up my mind just yet.

Life rarely leaves time for rest and introspection, but I’ve recently found myself to be incredibly frustrated at just how little of a difference rest has made. I forced myself to step away from some of my commitments. As someone who mostly is very self-motivated and self-disciplined, this is an enormous step.

At first I found it somewhat liberating, and was quite pleased with myself. The feeling didn’t last.

I’ve taken a fair amount of time off work recently – in the space of say, four weeks, I’ve taken two sick days. I don’t want to, nor do I think I can afford to take another day off, but tonight I’m desperately tired.

As I was about to head to sleep I found myself reminded of this commitment. This. Here. This blog is something I am committed to, and the regret and self-loathing I may feel later if I don’t write is a far greater price to pay than any lack of sleep may be.

I suppose the reason I do so much is because I’m so hard on myself. I rarely cut myself slack. I rarely give myself a free pass on things. The slightest mistake is a lesson I must learn.

I’ve never considered myself severe or cold, but at times I have felt that way, recently. It’s hard to hold a tight rein on your negative emotions without accidentally catching some of the good ones.

Perhaps it’s stress. It’s hard to be happy and open when you feel a constant nagging need to be elsewhere, to be working, to be producing. If I’m not working in my spare time, do I remain worthy of calling myself a writer?

I know the answer to such a silly question, of course, but such are the contradictions of the human psyche. As much as my mind screams one thing at me, I have my ears blind to it.

And so I keep working. I write. I sing. I produce. On the outside, one might say I’m dedicated and busy, but on the inside, it’s very tiring. Not boring, mind you. Not uninteresting. Just tiring.

As much as I’m fuelled emotionally by the things I busy myself with, I’m likewise drained by them. I feel as though I’m constantly attacking on all fronts of my life, trying to be strong everywhere. Yet Sun Tzu once wrote that when a force attempts to be strong everywhere, they will everywhere be weakened.

Sometimes, something has to give. We need to take time to ourselves. We need to watch the grass grow a little, spend time with animals, and feel the warmth of sun on our face. We need to read a good book, to go for a pleasant stroll, to remind ourselves that existence isn’t about working, but about living.

Sometimes I forget to truly live, to truly embrace the more fulfilling aspects of life. Have you?