When You Have to Hit The Reset Button

Ryan Fan

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Today, I towed a heavy line between being tired and exhausted, with a lot of my day leaning towards the latter. Working my 10-hour shift at Amazon with not good sleep last night was, well, not pleasant, especially towards the end, but hey, it happens.

The last three hours of my shift did not go well. I was working slow. I was making mistakes that I normally wouldn’t have made. I kept checking the watch, just waiting and waiting for the time to speed up and hit 6 p.m.

It finally did, and then driving home put me in a deeper hole. I write this on the brink of going to sleep, barely able to muster the energy to heat up leftovers, and do the same tomorrow. God, sleep — what a wonderous thing it seems like right now.

Mondays are days I typically have to reset. I don’t know about you, but my sleep schedule gets all sorts of messed up over the weekends, when I start going to bed late and waking up late as well. It gets to the point that every Sunday night, summer or not summer, when I have to wake up before 6 a.m. in the morning, that the Monday always results in some sort of drastic fatigue.

Simply put, the last two hours have been a time where nothing was going right. It happens. Maybe it just seems like that, but it definitely feels like it. I accidentally mistook my girlfriend’s roommate for my girlfriend because I was too tired to look and check. I said “hey babe,” — yeah, a bad and completely embarrassing gaffe.

Fortunately, I feel much better after a shower, so I don’t have to go to bed at 8 p.m. without eating dinner. Amazon in itself isn’t the worst thing in the world, it’s just the hours that accompany the job that can wear on you, especially without the energy to press on during the day.

I need a reset. The shower was a big reset, but also a good night’s sleep that I don’t usually get on Sunday nights is also a big reset. But it’s just a sign that sometimes, we need that reset button. We need to turn the page on the day and then move onto the next chapter, and while that can sound cliche, you’ve felt like that before, and I certainly feel like that too.

Resets aren’t just based on energy, but emotion level. To say that while we grapple with month four of the pandemic after everything that’s happened is, well, taxing. I would love to high five and shake hands with friends and co-workers, but always have to stop myself. I would love for life to go back to normal. I would love to not wear a mask for a physically intensive job for ten hours of the day.

But alas, I cannot. Ben Brumm at LifeHack advocates a couple of things to do to reset and recover after a long day at work. One is to lie down and do nothing — yeah, been there, soon that. I will probably do a little more of nothing and stop writing in a bit, as a form of mediation.

He also advocates exercise — but damn, I’ve been exercising all day at a manual labor job and am planning on waking up at 5 a.m. tomorrow to run. I’m not one of those “wake up at 5 a.m. every day to fix your life” kind of people, but simply have been outside and know that it’s 95 degrees right now. The only time it’s not obscenely hot when I can run is, you guessed it — 5 a.m.

Anyways, a reset is what it always has been for us. We weren’t born yesterday. I know that writing, watching, mindless TV and sleep are my pathways to reset for tomorrow to at least be a better day, when I won’t get so exhausted at work, or at least when I’ll look up when someone comes into the living room and not say “hey babe” to someone who isn’t my girlfriend.

At least I can hope.

All I know is that your reset is probably something else. There’s no one answer to what a reset should be. I find reading to be stressful, for example. I only read when I want to read and feel compelled to pick up a book, not when I try to force myself to read to become a better reader like I’ve done most of my life in school.

Part of what makes Mondays so horrible is that they’re such a shock. I find Tuesday and Thursday to be the easiest days of the week — Friday the second hardest, Monday the hardest. Friday is when you look forward to the weekend — and Monday is the hangover from the weekend.

For now, I just need to hit the reset button, and then get up tomorrow and repeat.

Originally published on July 20, 2020 on The Partnered Pen

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Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of "The Wire," God's gift to the Earth. Support me: https://ko-fi.com/ryanfan

Baltimore, MD
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