Craving a day . . .

November 29, 2023

I am really really craving a day OFF. One thing I am really committed to doing in 2024 is more intentional scheduling for my podcast/etc work. I do think I’ve done a great job finding a productive rhythm this year — when I first started, I’d have an unstructured day and be a bit uncertain about what to prioritize.

(Not understanding the ‘next action’ in things like like course creation was part of it – it was a whole learning curve!)

Now I never feel unsure about what to do on a Tuesday or Thursday. I usually have multiple things “due” (episodes to record, interviews to do, courses to teach, etc). BUT I have very little time blocked out to:

a- Just think about things!

b- Deal with non-urgent backend things like website design stuff or how to film a video effectively

(I guess I just end up doing “a” randomly- when on planes, when I’m running, randomly, and “b” is probably less about time than about ‘things I don’t like to deal with so I don’t prioritize them’. But you get my drift.)

I also do spend some Tues/Thurs time doing kid-related things: doctors’ appointments (including a small # of specialist appts), orthodontist, dentist, eye doctor, plus my OWN appointments for those things – it adds up!

SO. I’m trying to take a more birds-eye view of my calendar. I almost always think about time in weeks, but for my creative work it probably makes sense to look at months, too. Looking at months can help me see if I have any time reserved for (a) and (b) and may help me avoid scenarios like yesterday where I had an absolutely packed day (mostly “on-stage” type time involving me talking into a mic) after a full week of call and yes I survived but it just felt like a bit too much in that context even if it would have been a great day on another week.

I have 6 call weeks/year, so it might be reasonable to really try to protect those post-call Tuesdays as chill time. I also want to protect seasonal planning sessions for myself.

This weekend Josh is on call so while I’m not working I’m definitely on primary parent duty. That said, at this point, I’ll take it. As long as the calendar is relatively clear of other obligations. At least the kids have reached an age where solo parenting isn’t QUITE as taxing as it was.

I want a massage. (On that note, am trying to figure out if I can fit monthly massages into my allowance in 2024. It sounds like the pinnacle of luxury to get a message every single month and I feel like maybe it would be worth it because . . . YOLO.).

(In other news . . . Josh is injured – he think maybe a piriformis issue — and cannot run the JAX marathon either so we have canceled our hotel and now are not going 🙁 We are both determined to come back strong in 2024 though and I think I have convinced him to register for Bayshore with me!).

PS: I’m sorry I really don’t mean to come across as complain-y. I feel very lucky for the overall situation I have. But I am just really craving a break from . . . hearing my own voice (talking to patients OR into a mic!!!). I think it WILL be doable with a little of intentional calendar management though.


  • Reply Sophie November 29, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    Oh so sorry to hear about Josh- how disappointing for you both- but great you are determined to come back strong in 2024!

    Totally get that feeling of needing a day off, especially from performative work. Good idea to schedule “down” days after call weeks and other busy periods. You are inspiring me to really think ahead and plan for 2024 in a way I haven’t done before. 🙂

  • Reply Krista Lusby November 29, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    I am a fan of the monthly massages. It’s a luxury but it also provides much needed relief for over used muscles from exercise. I think of it more as preventative care than anything else. Definitely worth it.

  • Reply Lori C November 29, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    I had very similar thoughts today. I was driving along the highway with a running list of my head of all these more strategic things that I want to think about and plan out for myself and my family. Why is it that only when you are in a car or a plane do these things come into your brain? And not when you are sitting in front of a piece of paper? Ugh. I am going to take your suggestion about scheduling out some big picture planning time. Perhaps I will start with just carving out time to do December planning. I don’t zoom out enough and get caught in the day to day (like many I’m sure!)

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 29, 2023 at 3:55 pm

      Oh on a plane I always have paper and go to town in apple notes too!!! But a car is tough!!!

  • Reply Lori C November 29, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    I I bet you have mixed feelings about Josh not being able to run it. Bummer that he’s injured of course (sitting in a tennis ball helps periformis and so does pigeon pose!!) but maybe it’s also kind of nice that you don’t have to go up and watch him run a race that you were supposed to do? I love the idea of starting fresh with a new race for both of you to do in 2024.

  • Reply JCL21 November 29, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    Sarah – I give you permission to apologize less for expressing real feelings about real difficulties in your life.

    Someone next to me in the ER might have a broken leg, but that doesn’t mean my sprained ankle doesn’t hurt.

    Life has ups and downs, and the fact that you give us such a realistic picture of your headspace is so refreshing. Indeed, I think hearing that other people have tribulations and sticky spots makes me feel BETTER about my own stuff.

    • Reply Kate November 29, 2023 at 10:44 pm

      I second this!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 30, 2023 at 8:35 am

      thank you Jessica. I appreciate it!!! I agree that I always find when others share real feelings it is validating (and interesting).

    • Reply Kat November 30, 2023 at 1:21 pm

      Yes wholeheartedly agree complaining is ok and good for you! All of your feelings are valid and they do help others feel less alone/less judged by their own complaining. Let it out girl! I think you do a good job of also recognizing your privilege and that is super important so as long as you do both that’s simply honest. And that’s why people read your blog!

  • Reply Laura November 30, 2023 at 8:11 am

    I recommend finding a chiropractor who also has massage therapists! I go every 6-8 weeks. My chiropractor has helped me identify areas of weakness and those nagging running injuries have disappeared. Then I have an hour with a massage therapist and it’s all covered by insurance!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 30, 2023 at 8:34 am

      That is awesome! I am not entirely sure my insurance plan would cover that (it’s great coverage overall, but it’s more of an HMO so I am mostly limited to what our health system has). I had a fantastic chiropractor in NC back in the day that helped with running injuries so I am definitely not against that idea!

  • Reply KDR November 30, 2023 at 10:18 am

    Hi Sarah, not sure if you have an HSA/FSA but since I have neck/shoulder pain and migraines, I was able to get a doctor’s note that my massages were medically necessary and therefore use my HSA funds for monthly massages. That means the money is pre-tax, which saves me ~30% and doesn’t come out of the disposable income pot.

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