I’m not going to be one of those women that hammer myself into the ground doing something that is clearly killing me. In a culture that continues to validate exhaustion, I decided to take the unpopular path and step away for a while. I could keep going, probably for a long a time. I wasn’t ignoring myself completely. I was doing just enough self-care to stay afloat. But life isn’t about “just staying afloat”. I told myself I was helping others stay afloat as well. But that’s really just an excuse. And when you are barely staying above water, you really can’t offer anyone else a life preserver. A beautiful soul told me that my heart was too big for management. And while I don’t wholly believe this to be true (managers should have big hearts), it brought me to tears nonetheless. Because sometimes it feels like my heart is too big. It wants to hold all the suffering in the world. And it wants to fix it. It wants to feed every starving baby, house every abandoned child, comfort every lonely mama, rescue every drowning alcoholic. My big heart hurts when the disenfranchised continue to struggle. It aches with every other aching heart. And it abandoned those closest to home in an attempt to fill gaps that no one person can fill. My people matter. I matter. And we are worth protecting. My family deserves my attention too. Not the bleary-eyed, half present attention I’d been offering after long, COVID filled days battling a broken healthcare system. I didn’t want to wait until I was broken as well. And I think this says something about me, that I am unwilling to sacrifice my health and my family. My children deserve better. So do I. I won’t stop working for change. But rest can also be an act of resistance. I can chose to disrupt and push back against a system that views me as a machine. I don’t have to destroy myself to help someone else. In fact, I cannot help anyone else if I’m no longer standing. I cannot show my children how to slay dragons when I’m too tired to even lift the sword.