Newton’s Law of Stopping

By Tuesday evening, it was evident that I was thisclose to hitting the wall. Said wall being that point where I want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head, lie quietly weeping on something cool or, frequently, the point where my body after days of asking nicely, decides to make me sit still, causing a crash of monumental proportions, while it mutters invective and in general disparages my intelligence. Considering the fact that I'm still recovering from the last time that happened, I decided to prove to my body that I do indeed have an IQ larger than my shoe size and am occasionally inclined to use it. Which meant taking yesterday off and prescribing relaxation, yummy food and trashy books as preventative measures. And which was the only reason I didn't cry upon being rudely awakened by my alarm clock on Wednesday morning.

Sometime around noon, after a morning spent responding to e-mail that has languished in my inbox for way too long (if you haven't received a reply yet, it's because the inbox is very, very full), cleaning up a few piles, organizing the results neatly into three categories of Garbage, Deal With Now and File, updating my calendar and making several phone calls, I stopped to wonder what happened to my day off. It appears that going full bore for several weeks creates a problem. The problem of being unable to stop, thus proving Newton's first Law of Motion: "An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force". Although I would like to quibble with the speed part of the law, as it is my experience that the more overdrawn your energy bank gets, the faster you move. It is truly astonishing what you can accomplish when you're overtired and overworked to the point of hysteria. I have personally witnessed more than one woman breaking the sound barrier in this state.

I reassessed. I decided to let go, to stop e-mailing, to stop writing, stay away from the phone and somewhere in the back of my mind, a voice said, much in the tone of a SWAT team leader, "Put. The calendar. Down!". So I did. I managed to sit still for about 1.4 minutes before the twitching became unbearable and I came upon an idea to circumvent the urge to dosomething!rightnowthisveryinstant!. So I opened a new file on my computer, entitled the document “May 2008” and proceeded to do a list of everything I need to do this month.

Surprisingly (or not), this was not conducive to relaxation, either. Although everything that was spinning around in my head had been transferred to the file in my computer, my brain continued whirling like an F4 tornado, except now it had nothing to whirl. According to Newton, in order to stop, I need to be acted upon by an unbalanced force and I'm pretty sure it doesn't count that by now, I myself could be considered a very unbalanced force.

So I decided to consult the collected wisdom of you. Any tips?

Comments