As I grow older, I realize that after 20 days of running around like an idiot, I need to take time to check out from the world and recharge my batteries.
I’ve noticed that my needs are different than others- Some get fueled on constant interaction, and frankly, I get drained.
My life lately has been chaotic. Heck, it always is, but the intensity of late has been very high. Family stuff has been high on my mind, I’ve got a petulant gall bladder that is causing me some consternation, and well, work has been thrillingly busy, but absolutely draining at the same time.
Yesterday, I shut down. I watched movies, slept more than I was awake, and generally took on the appearance of a slug. It was amazing. I woke up this morning renewed, refreshed and recharged.
I woke up this morning with a sense of purpose as opposed to a sense of dread (like I did on Friday morning.) I actually planned my menu for the week. I took the four leggeds for a walk. I showered AND got dressed in grown up clothes (as opposed to the tank top and yoga pants that were my uniform last week.)
I look to this week with excitement as opposed to dread.
I’ve been a little antsy of late. Work is steady (which is lovely), house is pretty much clean, dogs are healthy, but despite all of these things, I still have been on edge more so than not.
It’s a strange feeling of unease that fills my days. I’m constantly reviewing my checking account, making sure that I stay above the positive mark. I’m constantly eyeballing Gus, my big bundle of Labrador love, to make sure that he is healthy and content. I can’t put my finger on what causes this constant feeling that the other shoe is going to drop. History tells me that it will, and I just need to be prepared.
Be prepared. What an overwhelming thought. I try to stay ahead of the curve- have a $100 dollar bill stashed away for emergencies, always have dog food backed up so as to feed the pups, and I try my best to keep a decent pantry. I have health insurance, home owners insurance, car insurance and a small life policy. Despite all of these best practices, I tend not to feel prepared for what is ahead.
All of this being said, I do take moments to just “be.” Last night, I took the dogs to the dog park for a quick energy drain. Despite the fact that my backyard is honestly dog park sized, something about taking my two shed monsters to the dog park just wears their butts out. LOVE IT. I love sitting there, with a roadie cup of something stronger than Diet Coke, watching my dogs run around like idiots.
I love waking up before anyone else in my world is up. I love the feeling of quiet productivity I get in the mornings- reviewing the constant email pile, running through my real mail, straightening up my kitchen and sweeping the house. These simple actions prepares me for the day.
Yesterday, I got the brilliant idea to remove the slip strips off the bottom of my 60 year old tub. Not really realizing what kind of project I was starting, it turned out to be quite a task. Removing the strips, easy peasy. Removing the years of gunk attached to the adhesive, oh that’s another story. Turns out a combination of bleach, vinegar (not at the same time), Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Barkeepers friend finally gets the job done. Oh, and a strong dose of elbow grease. This morning, at 6am, I was on my knees scrubbing the living crap out of my tub, and felt the strangest burst of satisfaction when I realized I had a clean, smooth tub surface. Oh, the little things.
I love the sense of satisfaction I get when I hang clothes out on the laundry line. It feels (and looks) so amazing to see clothes drying in the breeze.
I love settling down with a trashy romance novel and losing myself in a book for hours on end.
Most importantly, the thing that has created the greatest sense of calm this week is setting boundaries. Boundaries between me and my clients. Saying no to an opportunity that just didn’t feel right. Saying yes to a new project that is going to push me professionally, and help me move forward in my career.
I feel the urge to create something this week. Maybe I’ll paint something. Maybe I’ll pick up the knitting needles. Maybe I’ll work on my slightly profane cross stitch project. I love having options. I love keeping busy. I love the self inflicted silence that comes when I’m working on something.
None of these things I’ve mentioned are major game changers. I’m not launching a political initiative that is going to change society as we know it. I’m not changing the market place in which I professionally exist. These are all little things. Little moments of good.
I need to keep focusing on the little things and stop dwelling on when the other shoe is going to drop.
I just realized I haven’t blogged in weeks. WEEKS people! Weeks.
Candidly, I’ve barely cooked, crafted or done anything aside from working, working, working since St. Patricks Day. Makes sense that the last thing I want to do when I log off at the end of the day is sit in front of my computer MORE.
My point. Hmm…what was my point? Oh yes, I remember. My new philosophy. So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I was humming the song “My New Philosophy” today as I was leaving a volunteer gig, to race home for the third meeting of the day. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about balance, life, friendship, my unbalanced budget (the government ain’t got nothing on mine), as well as just taking time for myself.
So let me back up a bit. Yesterday was insane. Truthfully, the whole week has been insane, but yesterday? Oh my hell. I was busy. By the end of the day, I was “put a fork in me” done. DONE. I logged off of all things digital, I turned off my phone and just like Depeche Mode suggests, “Enjoyed the Silence.” I need downtime. I need alone time. I need time to sit and flip through my obscene stack of magazines. I need time to do nothing but play Candy Crush.
Sometimes, I just need a new time out.
We all do this, this insane overscheduling thing. We all try to be “masters of time management.” At what cost? Are you missing moments? Are you an evil hosebeast? (That’s what happens to me.) Are you dabbling in a lot, but really not mastering anything? Maybe it’s time for a time out.
So, back to this morning. I woke up, got out of bed, and hit the ground running. Client interaction before 7:30. Another client call at 8am. Volunteering at 9. Blah blah yackity smackity. It’s like this a lot. Running around trying to get to the next thing.
Frankly, I’m tired. No, I don’t have 2.5 children and a traditional job, but instead I have 2 dogs, a mortgage, and a new business, as well as many friends, volunteer gigs and hobbies. Sometimes I just don’t get to all of the things I want to get to. When I find that I don’t get to have alone magazine time, I get crabby. When it gets to be too long between visits with my best friend, I get grouchy. When I have my ass firmly planted in front of computer for 18 hours (Monday), I become downright heinous (or a hosebeast- 2 points if you get the reference.)
I feel that there needs to be a new reallocation of me. X amount of hours a week gardening. X amount of hours a week visiting with a variety of friends. X amount of time doing jack. Yep, I think I’m about to start my Silent Sundays thing I did a while back. A blissful day of selfish me time. Why? Because I can.
Some people thrive on insanity. Some people feel compelled to be social 24/7. Others need great amounts of time in the Chamber of Solitude. Me? I just need to balance this out a little bit.
So what is my new philosophy? I wish I could say it was just to F*C% it all, but let’s face it, that’s not really my style. Ok, it’s my style after three Z Tejas margaritas (call me Gladys at that point), but it’s not just realistic. I’m happy to report that my life is pretty awesome, and I want to spend more time enjoying all of the parts of it. I just need to redefine boundaries- personal boundaries, professional boundaries, financial boundaries (unbalanced home budget is causing me to go INSANE), and just get back to the business of living. I want to do more of what I enjoy, and still kick ass at work.
Hmm…. so that new philosophy? Just try a little harder to do the things I love, when I want to do them. Say yes when it makes sense, say no when it doesn’t. Shut off my damn phone and computer once a week. Starting this Sunday. My day of silence.