Brain does not compute

copyright istockphoto.com/VikaSuh

copyright istockphoto.com/VikaSuh

Blake has picked up a few new tricks: "Wack wack wack! See, I'm a duck. Wook at me. I'm fwying!" or "Roar roar. I'm a dino-rex." And, "Ribbit ribbit. I'm a fwog," he says, scooting across the floor on his belly.

It's all pretty funny to me, but the one that really gets me is when he looks at me seriously and says, "I am a robot," in a very robot-y voice. It's code for, "I'm sorry, Mom. I have no idea what you just said to me. Because I AM A ROBOT."

I kind of feel like a robot, too. For the past week, my brain hasn't operated at full throttle. You may notice I took Friday off (or maybe not) which hardly counts as a blogging break, but it was a conscious decision to be absent. Perfect attendance is overrated. I never got those awards in school.

When I looked back on the past full year of blogging, I noticed I took breaks (roughly) every three months. Now that I can see the big picture, I can respect the pattern. I understand that this is my natural rhythm. I go, go, go and then the wires in my head start popping out of my ears. Skipping a blog post (or a few) is merely an outward sign that I'm "in the shop" having all those cords and memory chips stuffed back into my malfunctioning brain.

Years ago, I was a personal fitness trainer and my certification focused on what many trainer-types call periodization. An expert in the field of fitness could explain it a lot better than I can, but here's an example of how it works: You train hard for three or four weeks and each week builds on the week before. Then, you take a week to chill out. You don't stop exercising completely, but the workouts are much lighter and less strenuous on the body. After that rest period, you start back up again with challenging, progressive workouts.

Balance experts and success coaches tell us we need to build this type of breathing room into our days. But I've yet to master that. I don't believe there's a right way to do balance. But I do think a key to staying healthy (and sane) is recognizing our natural rhythms. When our minds and bodies tell us to slow down, we need to listen.

Do you go full speed ahead and then crash, like me, or do you consciously build periods of rest into your days and weeks? (And if so, how do you do it? I'll be taking notes and learning from you.)