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It's Easy to Be Busy
My internal, eternal struggle to do things but not too much
It’s a hair past noon, and I stare at the pile of emails.
There are things I could do or, rather, should do. I start one project, hit a speed bump, ask for help, then am stuck in the dreaded waiting period. Before the changes at my company, I had a routine. My days each had their own rhythm and pace. I knew what was expected of me.
I could do my work with few speed bumps and forge ahead.
Now, it’s different. There are changes coming down this road and then later down the one over in the distance. None are here yet, except for some small ones. I ask questions and wait for answers and new schedules.
In a way, I love the extra wiggle room and understanding from my coworkers. My pace rides like smooth jazz with trills of excitement (aka panic) strewn haphazardly inside. Yet I feel lost in the interim. I have a constant worry I’m forgetting something when the tempo slows. I become lost in the rests, missing the beats.
I could work on personal projects, or I could organize a folder system that’s due for an extreme overhaul. I could write this newsletter, but those signs seem so tempting.
It’s not just work that’s affected.
Yesterday, my husband and I had our new living room set delivered. This singular event lit the fire under our butts to finally go through and better organize all the items we left pushed against the back bedroom wall and thrown in hiding. On Saturday, we went through the back bedroom and tiny office area.
Sunday called us to rest, whether we wanted to or not.
On Monday, I paid the consequences for taking my one pill late and only sleeping 6 hours (not purposely, mind you). I was tired. In the thirty minutes I washed dishes, my tiredness waned, and a slight off-kilter feeling overcame me. My husband and I decided to better organize the living area once the furniture came.
What’s the use of organizing things if they’ll be moved later?
Last night, we cleaned and organized in a controlled frenzy. All but two living area projects were left. The kitchen, part of the living area, won’t be touched until later. My mind realized I needed rest. I let it have that, calling it around 7pm. My parents came to see the furniture and cats.
Here’s the thing, though, I still am behind my plan.
I knew we needed to purge, clean, and organize the house with the new furniture. I knew I wanted more items to sell at the GRRL Camp I’m attending this Saturday. I also knew I needed to write this newsletter. Finally, I also knew Wednesday night would be taken by our weekly tabletop role-play game (Starfinder currently).
It’s all too easy to see the items on your plate and greatly misjudge what you actually have time to do.
I procrastinated on my last art sale date, keeping my lactose-intolerant guide unillustrated and unprinted. I told myself I’d do it in the week after. We made an unplanned furniture purchase. I couldn’t plan for it until after we purchased it.
As a result, I’ll have the same swath of art to sell this Saturday. The house will be one or two rooms further along by this Sunday. We’ll also enjoy a fun Starfinder session.
Yet it still feels like too much. I feel too behind in both personal and work goals. I can’t get further ahead, and it frustrates me. The only thing I don’t feel behind on is my casual games. I take casual games a bit too seriously, and serious games make me too anxious. It’s a fun contradiction.
My point is it’s easy to schedule everything, make a plan, and be disappointed when things don’t turn out the way you’d hoped. The unexpected happens. Every task and project calls itself urgent. It’s a mindset hard to break and preached by our culture.
We’re supposed to be more productive, reduce downtime (rest), and contribute to society. We believe we fail when we don’t achieve this. It’s hard to believe that slowing down, doing the things we enjoy, and embracing the chaos life throws us is helpful.
But it is.
I’ve slowly been hacking away at the belief of doing more for the sake of doing more. If I want to do something, I think a day or two about it. There are still a few things I’d like to do that I’m not doing, but I also see that my plate is already full enough. I’ve come a long way.
I get caught up in being able to weather the change in plans and accept less from myself.
Last Thursday, I wanted to do a giveaway and have my lactose intolerant booklet done. I settled on a prettier setup than previously. That was enough as the over-100-degree weather kept all but two buyers at bay. I also caught up with a high school friend who hosted me. It was enough.
The house is half done with the re-organize and purge. The new furniture now looks like it belongs in the house, less like it was thrown into a mess. I don’t need a pillow behind my back to help with lumbar support. In fact, I think it will be hard to sit incorrectly and mess up my posture. It’s enough.
You’re probably doing enough if not more than enough.
Let’s take a breath together, rest, and, before we refocus on our to-do list, be thankful for what we have accomplished. Because it’s a lot.
I was told I’m officially in remission. But I still had a lot to deal with.
When dreams begin to unfold, greatness and change come in droves.
I detailed a few, important happenstances in my life that made me lose myself.
Yet I found myself again. And you can too.
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