I accomplished all of the reading I set for myself on my Friday "off" and, in addition, read the amazing Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This novel is about a boy who gets a package in the mail from girl in his school who recently committed suicide. In the package are tapes and everyone who needs to listen to the tapes is, in some way, a contributing factor to her death. It's the best young adult novel I've read since Jenny Downham's Before I Die. I couldn't put it down, and the times that I forced myself to go do other things all I did was think about the book. It's so hard to handle teen suicide without being trite or overly dramatic or preachy, but Asher handles it brilliantly. Every teen should read this book so that they know it isn't just them--lots of kids go through the events and feel the feelings that the characters do in this book. Every teacher and parent should read this book so that they know what's really going on. It is going on, everything that happens in that book is believable, and most of it is pretty tough to swallow.
And I realized something as I walked into yoga tonight...I need to be very careful when I take time off. Time off is time inside my head, and that's not always a good thing if I don't have an outlet. I really didn't leave the house this weekend or socialize with anyone, and this morning I woke up feeling pretty crappy. Sad and irritated and just sort of raw. And I didn't know why. I tried to put names to what I was feeling, but I couldn't hit on anything that would equal how miserable I was.
Then I went to yoga for the first time since Wednesday. Second time in about two weeks. When I walked into the candlelight class, the heat was blasting and the lights were off, the room illuminated by candles. I was the first one in the room so I picked a spot by the mirrors and said "I don't ever want to leave." Suddenly all of the bad feelings I'd been dealing with all day melted away. I did my practice and have been fine ever since--better, even. One of the key parts of a guided practice is to dedicate the practice to someone--someone besides yourself, who you feel like could use some strength or energy or thoughts. Tonight I broke the rules and dedicated my practice to me. I needed it.
I have to remember that my head can be a dangerous place to be sometimes. Especially when I add to my normal thoughts those of authors through their amazing words. I can become very overwhelmed and angst-ridden about fictional problems. And, sometimes a break from work can do more harm than good. At least at work I have a focus, a goal, and I'm not trapped inside my brain. Balance...I think. It's all about balance.