This post is actually a copy of a post my teacher Virginia, who is in grad school at Auburn, blogged about back in March (you can read her whole blog here!). The timing was great in that she wrote it right after I had just gotten back from formal (the very same one I painted the cooler for). I had put off a bunch of work, it was the end of the semester, and after such a great weekend, I did NOT want to be back in school. VA had me read her 3 Day Rule post and I really think that it's true.
So this week when I was in her office crying on Monday for absolutely no reason (did I mention she's AWESOME!?! ;) ), she reminded me of the post again. Today is day 4 of being back in Auburn after having a great weekend home and I finally feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things. I think it's really important to give yourself time to readjust to your "new normal". So without further ado here is Virginia's original post (because she says it best!):
"I have been on 5 trips in 5 weeks. Meaning I have left Auburn 5 times in 5 weeks. Meaning I have had a heck of a lot of fun but have pretty much escaped reality for 35 days, living in a fairy tale, “just get what needs to be done so we can go out of town….” Unfortunately, that’s not how real life works.
Yesterday, I had to climb off of my “fun mountain” and get back to reality. I’m coming off of a 5 week high of fun and vacations and to be honest, I feel like a druggie crashing. Wait, responsibilities… what are those? Back on the budget. Back to running. Back to teaching. Back to work. Being back to those things aren’t near as hard as the emotional, mental and spiritual instability I’m facing. Mom told me yesterday as I walked out of the house in St. Simons, remember the 3 day rule.
So what is the 3 day rule? It’s a rule my mom and I talk about all the time! Here’s the background: when I get off my normal schedule, when I do things out of the ordinary, especially taking vacations or preparing for a major presentation, my body goes into “survival mode”. I have one focus. That focus is to enjoy myself or in the case of a project, to work really hard. The focus is the people or adventures or task in front of me. Stuff like budgets and laundry and eating healthy and exercise and sleep and anything else that gives my life balance, goes to the back burner, or even completely out the window. Then the vacation is over or the presentation is given. And there is an adjustment period. And the adjustment period can get really messy. I actually started making a list in this blog post of some of the emotional meltdowns or freak outs I have had right after these “survival mode” moments but then I reread the list and had to delete it, y’all would think I’m absolutely crazy. (even though most of you think I’m crazy anyway, I felt like I should not give you solid proof by putting it in print….) Let’s just say that the few days after exiting a survival mode period in my life, I should not be making big decisions, or making changes, or evaluating myself or relationships. Why is it such a big deal? Because my head isn’t clear. I’m “off”. I’m crashing after a high. I have to give myself time to readjust to being in the real world.
So my mom calls it the “3 day rule”. Give yourself 3 days to get back to normal. It’s SO important for me to take those 3 days and focus on getting back to normal. I HAVE to run, I HAVE to do laundry, I HAVE to read my Bible, I HAVE to focus on myself. When I don’t… that 3 days turns into 3 weeks, or however long I keep pushing it back. And in that time…. I’m unbalanced. I do things out of character, I make bad decisions, I don’t treat people the way I want to, my priorities are out of whack, I am not responsible. So if you can only imagine what it has been like for me to be out of town 5 times in 5 weeks. There hasn’t really been any opportunity to follow the 3 day rule.
So today, when I texted someone and they didn’t text me back, I got all sad and offended and started questioning our friendship, and then I got mad at myself for acting “crazy”, etc. etc. etc. And I had to check myself, wait VA, it hasn’t been 3 days. Cut yourself some slack. You’re over exaggerating. Take a deep breath. So now I’m in my office, hiding with the light off, headphones in, focusing on my 3 day rule. Focusing on getting myself back balanced. I’m running tonight and doing laundry when I get home. I’m not going to put anything on my plate that doesn’t have to be done. I’m focusing on getting myself back to normal. Following the 3 day rule, just like my momma said to. (and I’m learning that 99.9% of the time, she is always right…..)