life Travel Work

Today’s Theme is Floor Pictures. And Fatigue.

June 8, 2022

Well, it happened:

I took a 20 minute nap on the floor of my office yesterday. It happened right after lunch, once I was done with morning notes + before my first afternoon patient was scheduled. I closed my door, turned on my space heater, and put the above blanket-appearing sweater shawl thing on the floor as a pillow.

(Said sweater shawl thing was a relic from my pumping days and has remained in my drawer since 2018; I guess I’m glad I kept it.)

I’m feeling . . . a little overextended. I am so grateful/happy that Josh came home in time to do bedtime last night; I just had nothing left, energy-wise. I feel like I am maximizing my time AND outsourcing and still, there is more to do than I have space/time/energy to do. I am working on some life changes/adjustments, but they are months off. My goals lists are starting to look a bit like wishful thinking and I keep tabling certain non-urgent but important things.

In the past I felt like I had untapped time I was wasting. Currently, I do not feel that way. There is nothing in my life I want to do LESS of: time with kids, reading, exercise, making podcast episodes, posting here.

Part of the issue is that I have lots of travel this summer — and I have the PL to use and WANT to use it!! — but being away so much has my work compressed, which is challenging. I still have to do projects X, Y, and Z by their various due dates even if I am in the office less. And being in the office less –> meetings get piled onto the days that I am there because there are fewer options. Which means even less time for X, Y, and Z plus it means I’m less patient with ad hoc interruptions.

I am not really complaining; these things are just true and I should remember — I’m super lucky to have vacation days to use! After all, there were many years where I depleted my entire pile of PL due to maternity leave and was unable to take official breaks. It’s luxurious to not only have PL but have enough saved up that after any weeklong vac, I still have a sizable buffer.

So the floor nap . . . not sure if I will repeat it, but it felt right at the time. I was expecting to feel miraculously refreshed afterwards and I did not. In fact, I had a mild headache from the moment I arrived home that didn’t go away until this morning.

All that said – I will again push some of those nagging projects aside, because we are headed north tomorrow!! Hopefully I will find some ways to make the trip feel at least the tiniest bit restful. (IE: children, please do not wake at the crack of dawn daily. Please + thank you!)

PS: Guess what else is leaving? These fully packed camp trunks!!! They get shipped up north tomorrow too. I let go in the end and our nanny packed up 95% of it with A’s help. (I did the shopping/ordering/etc but she did the actual packing). There are probably things missing but I can’t imagine any true packing disasters will ensue.


  • Reply Cate June 8, 2022 at 8:08 am

    My kids are older than yours and this is the first year I haven’t had to ship those huge duffels to New England! I am so happy to be passing the baton to you.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns June 8, 2022 at 9:19 am

    I hope your trip up north goes well and that the kids sleep ok. I am at a stage where sleep isn’t great at home (hello, 18mo sleep regression) so it’s even worse when we travel. But the time away is still usually worth it overall. But hopefully your kids will do just fine in a new environment. I imagine the cooler temps will feel GREAT!

    I had to take quite a few naps when I was battling covid, but they needed to be LONG like 60-90 minutes. I felt super guilty but my coworkers pushed me to rest. Gretchen Rubin has talked about the benefit of a 20 minute nap but I have never tried that – I don’t think it would be refreshing and it might take me 20 minutes to fall asleep! I hate those exhausted feelings, though. I remember when our son was going through a horrible stretch of being up 3-5 times a night when he had non-stop ear infections. I would feel like I could fall asleep going to the bathroom during the work day!

  • Reply Lauren S. June 8, 2022 at 9:44 am

    I don’t have any advice but just want you to know your words deeply resonated with me! The work you are doing is important; you are an amazing wife; an engaged and dedicated mother; your blog/podcasts are a HUGE encouragement to so many and; you are a kind human! From one overextended mom to another, solidarity and hugs from Ohio!

  • Reply Jessica June 8, 2022 at 9:51 am

    Since you have life changes coming up that should help, and also I imagine the vacations will decrease in the fall, can you look at this as a “season” that will pass? That is helpful to me when I’m overwhelmed; it helps me to put aside anything non-urgent and know that I will get back to it when this busy season is over. That way I can still write down my goals but they’re framed as things to do AFTER this busy season has passed, and I don’t feel bad that I’m not doing them earlier.

    Obviously I wouldn’t want to push aside important goals all of the time, but if I’ve done it mindfully in order to prioritize other stuff I have going on, then I’m happy with it.

  • Reply KGC June 8, 2022 at 10:09 am

    I don’t have any advice or words of wisdom, but just commiserating with the idea that taking personal leave or vacation days is great in theory but hard in practice. My husband gives me a hard time when I sometimes end up either working on days off or checking in at night or whatnot, and I don’t quite know how to convey that…despite me taking time off that I’m entitled to take, deadlines don’t disappear! Some deadlines are more flexible than others (my boss has made it clear that the book chapter we’re working on won’t be in on time) but some are pretty hard-and-fast – such as a deadline for recording a talk that has a go-live date, or finishing something for a patient either by the hospital deadline or before the next appointment. Those deadlines don’t care about your vacations!

    This is why Americans use less of their allotted vacation time – too much work to do and not enough time!

  • Reply Elisabeth June 8, 2022 at 11:01 am

    I used to do the work-naps on the floor when I was pregnant with my first.
    I’ve really fallen off the nap train this year even though it was one of my 22 goals for the year. I actually do find 20-30 minute naps are ideal. I wake up a bit groggy, but that passes much faster than if I take a 2 hour nap.
    My issue lately has been staying up too late. Life feels very scattered lately with fluctuations in our schedule, vacation, temporary return to school but more vacation coming up (again, not something that feels right to complain about!)…and I’m frazzled with all the loose ends, so I try to “compensate” for that by staying up past my bedtime to unwind. Sigh. So I am decidedly under-rested lately.

    Hope the kids LOVE sleepaway camp. How fun 🙂

  • Reply Natasha June 8, 2022 at 11:20 am

    Nice idea to use the duffels! We always went with the hard trunk for camp, with a smaller duffel strapped on top. I also forgot items here and there but it was never an issue – toothpaste or a hat or whatever can be purchased at the camp store. My son went for 5 weeks each summer so they also usually went to “town” at least once and he could restock. He was Annabel’s age when he started, and continued until Covid cancelled what would have been his last session the summer before his junior year of high school. Experience of a lifetime and many friendships made with kids all over the country!

    I have a sofa in my office that I intended for naps or reading on my lunch break – has never happened but I have been known to sit in my car and read for 20 minutes at lunch.

  • Reply Caitlin June 8, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    I’m sorry you are feeling overextended, but I appreciate you sharing that and expressing it in this way because I feel the same! I could probably do a little better with outsourcing some childcare on the weekends or asking for more help, but some of it is clutter that I need to be the one to take care of or me wanting to spend time with my kiddo. And just like you, I don’t want less of anything else, including reading/crafting/relaxing time. So thank you for sharing! Have an excellent vacation!

  • Reply Erica Sparky June 8, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    Ooh where is that duffel from? I was going to send G to camp with one of our suitcases but i think he’d love a customized duffel bag.

    I can relate to your post. I feel over-extended this time of year at work, life and with school things (adding in vacation planning doesn’t help) yet I don’t have room to let anything slip. A desk nap or floor nap would be great as needed.

  • Reply Alyce June 8, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    I too have napped on my office floor when a nap was needed. (Most commonly while pregnant, but at non-pregnant times too). I don’t know why it feels like admitting some big secret, b,ut it does.

  • Reply Grateful Kae June 8, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    100% have been feeling this way too. In my case, our weekends have been PACKED the last….I don’t even know how many. But a lot in a row. And the upcoming several are also super busy/ full to the brim. So I am constantly feeling like I’m either working/ doing the day to day weekday stuff, or else “away” on the weekend. I’ve felt like I’ve had zero time to catch up on things I need to do, yet my list is a mile long. I keep having intermittent anxiety about it all…I feel like what I really need to do is to somehow schedule a few weekdays off work, ideally when the kids are otherwise occupied, and just go to town getting some stuff done. But my vacation days tend to get spent on actual vacations, so I’m always hesitant to burn up too many to just be around the house… And I have some time already off scheduled to drive kids to camps, etc. this summer, so I don’t really want to take a lot of additional time off. No answers here, but yeah…I agree, the fun trips and activities are awesome, but they also a) eat up a lot of time! and b) are a ton of work to prepare for and clean up after.

  • Reply Carrie Q June 8, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    I do a lot of “meditating” while lying down on my office floor. It sometimes turns into a nap. I’ve been contemplating getting a couch for my office but it could be a little too easy to take an afternoon siesta then….

  • Reply CBS June 8, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve got enough room in my office for a little armchair and need to get on with buying one. I’m hoping to find one assembled and get it to the office in a taxi. Sometimes it’s nicer to read or rest sitting in a chair.

  • Reply omdg June 9, 2022 at 9:03 am

    So, I totally forgot that school ends on Friday and that camp starts next Monday. Also, we hadn’t done any of the forms (and I say “we” because my husband also received the emails, but neither of us had completed them). So we did a bit of scrambling when I got back from my conference this week and largely everything is “fine.” I also feel like I don’t want to get rid of anything in my life — if anything I want to add (1) more exercise, (2) a project on kids with disabilities in periop, (3) eating healthier, (4) puppy class for the dog (desperately needed, I might add), and basically, this just means less time for work. I make sure I get enough sleep most nights because otherwise doing anything well is impossible, and doing what I can when I can. Maybe this gets easier when we retire?

    • Reply omdg June 9, 2022 at 9:04 am

      Oh also came here to say — next time try a nappuccino. For this, you drink a coffee, then lay down for 20-30 min. I find this much more refreshing than just a nap. Also, sometimes when I’m really fuzzy, doing some downward dog helps as well.

  • Reply Svetlana June 10, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    I’ve kind of decided that for me, sleep is the key to happiness. This is after two babies who were terrible sleepers until about 9 months, despite all the sleep training. It’s still hard to accept because our culture/society glorifies under-sleeping, and I often feel guilty for getting anything more than 8 hours of sleep (and my body really needs 8.5, which is also difficult to accept). The other thought that your post brought up for me is the topic of the Oliver Burkeman book, “Four Thousand Weeks” (which I read after seeing it on your blog). I suspect that no matter how much I accomplish, I may not feel like it’s “enough”. I wonder if people felt the same way 200, 300 years ago, or if this is a more recent phenomenon. So I’m working on trying to accept that there are just things that I won’t do in my life and focus on doing what I can. Including getting enough sleep. “Working on” is the key word, though, can’t say I have yet succeeded.

  • Reply Sarah Jedd June 15, 2022 at 4:24 pm

    I have soooooooo done this. Cranked the heat in my office, grabbed the inexplicable sweater I always keep on the back of the door and sprawled out on the floor, even though I work for a state university and my floor has only been mopped like 3 times on the last 12 years. Solidarity.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 15, 2022 at 6:54 pm


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