Deficit of Downtime

Deficit of Downtime

*I wrote this post on about January 12th, but never published it. Why am I doing so now, so many weeks later? Because we need to learn from our patterns. And hindsight helps with that. Right after this, what happened but I had a one-two-three whammy of flu, cramps and sinus infection. Clearly I needed to listen to myself to slow down. Maybe slowing down would have helped. Maybe I was already fighting off a bug and that’s why I felt so exhausted. Cause and effect…we’ll never know which comes first in some things.*


I’m struggling. It’s week two of my new job & while it’s all going well, I’m struggling.


I have leave planned to make a long weekend on Aust day.


But it’s not enough.


Nothing is enough.


I need more downtime.


The past few years since Ben ended up in hospital has been hard. It happened right near the end of a well paying government contract & since then I’ve been scrambling non stop.


Deficit of Downtime


Deficit of Downtime


I’m grateful that I’m back to earning an OK amount this year. It’s not the most I have earned but it should give me leeway to pay down the small debt I have & save a little after expenses each pay.


I don’t want to sound ungrateful for that but the thing is, it’s not enough.


A thought has been running around in my head for years now; I want six months off.


I need long service leave from life. I just want to be. I don’t know what I like anymore. Some times of recent years have been in such an extreme level of survival & serious issues that I don’t know how I unwind. to be present. To be interested in things. To care about others.


I am suffering from a deficit of downtime. This deficit accumulated over five years or so & I want to cash it in and fix it.


But I don’t know how.


I know, it’s ridiculous. This is my second week in a full time job. I need to shut up, settle in, be grateful and chill.


But it feels like nothing has changed. I’m trying to take little & easy steps to care for myself but what I really want is to be a year ahead of myself. I don’t want to go through this stage. It’s unsettling to learn how to be settled. I don’t want to be transitioning to learn to be normal. Why is that a transition?


I am so over transitions.


In related news, I’m taking recommendations of places to go (probably QLD or NSW, but hit me up with ideas) where I can go for up to a week for space. I want beach, kitchen & things in walking distance. Preferably with free wifi too. 


After thinking about this a bit more, I wonder if this (perhaps perversely) relates to my constant looking for things to study, to new jobs. Surely if I look  hard enough, I will find something that gives me that leave I want? We live in the information age. If I know enough, I should know how to get leave from life for a little while.


When I was very seriously tired and sick and stressed a few years back, I looked into getting access to my Superannuation to give myself time to rest and recuperate. It doesn’t seem to be possible to use it for preventative causes, which is sad. I know that super isn’t designed to be touched, but seeing as you can use it for medical reasons it did seem ideal overall if it could be used in preventative ways. Sadly this seems to reflect the lack of respect for preventative care overall in government and health services.


NOTE: I’m 9 or 10 weeks into my job as of publication. I do feel better. That transition unease is mostly gone. But I do still think about how nice it would be to have “long service leave” from life.


Have you ever suffered a deficit of downtime, over a LONG period of time? How do/did you cope with it? Do you ever get the feeling that you just want 6 months off for YOURSELF?


18 Replies to “Deficit of Downtime”

  1. I definitely felt this way in my last job towards the end. In my current one, at the moment I just want a week off — it’s been go, go, go and I’m a bit tired!

    Re places to travel, I’d always recommend anywhere on the NSW South Coast. So pretty!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I waver between a week off and six months off! I don’t feel the urgent need for 6 months, but I kind of feel the cumulative effect still exists.

  2. I feel this often and there is nothing wrong with it. I find it harder because I blog and I consider this work too

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      My blogging certainly has its peaks and troughs, which tends to match how I feel or what I’m going through at a time.

  3. The idea of long service leave from life is brilliant. Sign me up!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Wouldn’t it be nice?

  4. Hubster took 6 months of long service leave at half pay a couple of years ago. It was instrumental to him realising he’d had enough of that place, asking for a redundancy, getting it, and moving on to greener pastures 🙂 .

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I’m finally accumulating LSL…but it’s a bit of a tease. I can see that I have over a week, but I can’t take it for something like another 5 years. I’ve been on the bad luck side of redundancies… others hired at the same time have been permanent and gotten the packages where I’ve been via agencies and casual and therefore squat. No rhyme or reason! But it is what it is…

  5. Interesting how your post sort of ties in with my post today! I can relate to how you are feeling because YES I lived with a deficit of down time for many, many, many years and eventually I crashed and burned. It had a lasting impact on me. It is SO important that you have time to refuel and re-energise. I guess it is a matter of watching what you say YES to and knowing what you need in order to get that downtime to fill you back up again. Take care of yourself! 🙂

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I know, published on the same day! Goes to show how many people deal with too much, maybe? I feel like I waver constantly on the edge of it and claw it back just enough to get by.

  6. I hear you and am glad at least it is settling down now. Transitions are always tough in my opinion xx

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Always…even for those like me who lived in a state of it for 2-3 years.

  7. Sending you lots of love (I clearly need to read older posts I have just discovered you today through the #iblot with essentially jess)
    I am currently on long service from life well kind of sort of. I had a total breakdown last year ended up in hospital had to relearn how to use my left arm and leg (much like a stroke). The long term effects from that are my memory is shot from the last 4 or so years. Plus a whole raft of other really boring things! It is most certainly not the way I would suggest having long service from life! lots of hugs coming your way (and I am off to discover the rest of your blog!)

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Oh my goodness, that’s not the way at all to get a break from life! I hope your rehabilitation is going well.

  8. I didn’t realise that your partner’s health issues had been going on for so long. It must be hard for you to feel the pressure of being the only breadwinner in the family. I hope that you can find the time and the finances to have that downtime. I’d like some downtime from my own head. I dream of having a penseive like on Harry Potter to leave the thoughts I don’t want to deal with in.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      About 5 years now, yep. It’s fucking ridiculous the lack of care he gets. I think most GPs just assume “male, 30s, healthy” and won’t look. And/or they get bored when the idea in their head isn’t confirmed by tests. A real life Pensive would be great. I haven’t been stuck in my head much at all for ages but the past few weeks I’ve fallen back into some bad overthinking habits.

  9. Long service leave from life, what a brilliant idea!

  10. I totally get this. I’m actually taking this whole year off- long service leave at half pay and whilst I’m still a full time mum (you can never take time off from that job) I’m really enjoying just doing more of the stuff I enjoy doing for myself- blogging and writing for one!

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