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OPINION: Learning to rest

I have learned much about myself over the last two decades while on my mental health journey.
(File photo)

I have learned much about myself over the last two decades while on my mental health journey.

One of the things I have learned about myself is I push myself hard and don’t always give myself the time I need to rest.

I have always been one to throw myself into my work with the belief that there will be plenty of time to rest later.

Unfortunately for me, later usually hit when I was at the point of exhaustion. Instead, of taking a few days to recharge and recover frequently I would be out of commission for weeks or longer.

The problem was, “I was all-in, all the time.” There wasn’t much balance to be found.

While things were great on the job, at first, towards the end when I was forced off work I didn’t exactly endear myself to employers or partners.

Fast forward to the present, and I still push myself hard. I’m juggling full-time work, two university courses and my photography hobby. I’m definitely not bored.

There has been a shift though; my mentality has shifted away from the “all-in, all the time” attitude. While I still push myself hard, I make time for breaks. I find time to spend with my wife. I make time for my photography. I find ways to separate myself from my job.

I even take holidays. I just got back from a much-needed full week off, my first since I started full-time in December 2021.

While I’ve had days off and time away before, this was the first time I managed to disconnect since I started, and I honestly didn’t realize how much I needed it.

My wife and I did our usual spring getaway to Calgary for the Comic and Entertainment Expo which is held at the Stampede Park in the city’s core.

This year’s guests featured fan favourites like Jonathan Frakes from Star Trek fame, Robert Patrick from Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime in the Transformers universe, and prolific director Sam Rami, who just directed the latest Dr. Strange offering.

Aside from the celebrity guests, Expo hosted several creator panels as well on topics like podcasting and character creation for novelists.

Best of all, my emails were forwarded and my phone was off. I love my job, but I needed the disconnection.

Despite feeling the typical post-holiday drag —why does the first week after you get back from holidays feel like you have stepped into a meat grinder? — I am also feeling recharged professionally and creatively and happy to be back.

I have come a long way over the last two decades. I spent a lot of time in my own head, kicking my own butt for matters that I really didn’t need to own.

One of the biggest things I have learned is to live in the now; I focus on what is important and try not to be bothered by the rest. I’ve also learned to listen to my body, I take the rest when I need it.

Mahatma Gandhi once said “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Gandhi’s words resonate with me; I try to learn something new every day, but I don’t take every day for granted.

His words hold a lesson for all of us to follow.

With how far I have come in the last five years, I can only imagine where the next five will lead me.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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