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I’m about to return to work after 11 days (mostly) off, and I can confirm that the most valuable part of my time away was identifying and connecting with who I am outside of my job, my productivity level, and my relative value to society.

I hadn’t had proper downtime since the pandemic began. A few days off a couple of times, but nothing during which I could truly unplug and just be. Our cats teach us how every day.

As I’m now fully vaccinated, I even ventured out into the world to see friends in person. What I took for granted a year and a half ago is now this rare and special treat, one that makes me quite emotional.

As the sun’s warmth seeps back into our days, I feel less panicked, less wrung-out: something adjacent to better. I’ll take it.

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