UNITED STATES—You don’t realize how hard you work until you take a moment and not work. I finally got that opportunity in the past few weeks. After working what seemed like nonstop during this pandemic I finally took some time off from work. I was exhausted, tired and just completely burnt out and my body was like if you don’t take this time off we’re going to make you take this time off.

I say that all the time because I absolutely believe it to be true, the body will shut down if you’re not cognizant to the stress that it has endured. Working one job is stressful, working two jobs even more stressful, than take on a job where it seems like no matter what the stress always seems to find you. I recently had to take some time off to deal with health matters. I had about 10 days off, it was supposed to be more than 3 weeks (don’t even ask). I’m starting to realize sometimes when it comes to work; I just don’t know how to quit it.

I did have like 2 days where I did absolutely nothing. It was the greatest feeling ever America. My brain was at ease, my body was at ease, my mind was at peace and I was able to actually relax. That is the problem: I have NOT been able to fully relax and just focus my energies elsewhere beyond work. The fact that I finally got the opportunity to do that even if it was for less than 3 days gave me so much perspective.

This might sound horrid, but I did not miss work any of my jobs during this time. It forced me to acknowledge that I do work too hard sometimes and it’s okay to just say, “Whatever happens will happen.” You cannot control everything, even if you want to do it. We work too much; there is no secret to that, Americans slave at their jobs and in some cases give much more than we receive. We have to take better care of ourselves and we have to realize it is okay for us to take time off. You’re entitled to it. There is no law that says you have to work a job 24/7, hell you shouldn’t have to work 24/7 to earn a decent paycheck.

I am a firm believer that if a company cannot survive with a particular employee for a week or period of time that is quite scary to say the least. That means the company is relying on someone too much and God forbid if something happens to that individual than what is the company going to do. There should be a plan B, plan C, plan D, etc.

The point being with this entire rant, I NEEDED THE TIME OFF THAT I HAD OFF. I didn’t realize it until I had the time off, how burnt out I was. In addition, it just further forced me to realize that I’m going to take more time off and I’m not going to feel guilty or beat myself up silly about it. People work too much and it’s time for us to start taking our lives back and balancing work with our personal lives. You work to live you should NOT live to work.