Saying that to myself seems a little elementary and the phrase itself doesn’t seem as though it would be too difficult to follow. But it is—for me at least. I am finding that over the past few months, I have become completely saturated with my schedule. I will look at my planner over the last few months and genuinely think to myself “how in the world could I have possibly done all of this and still had time to breathe?”
It is remarkable what we as humans are able to withstand, pressures we are able to endure not only within ourselves, but from the people around us as well. I know that there are certain expectations that come from the people around me: my boss at work expects me to be on time and productive, my teachers and mentors expect me to be engaged and attentive and I expect myself to be able to handle these things while maintaining a high level of energy. Whew.
As I have mentioned, I have gotten into the habit of seeing a free space in my day and filling it with something. Doesn’t matter what I fill it with, but I found myself having little to no downtime. Downtime for me to enjoy the company of myself, enjoy a peaceful activity, be one with my own thoughts, do what makes me happy and not carry the burdens of the day.
I have been feeling this way for a long time though, but have been unable to change my life. I know that I want to change it, and know that I will be happier on the other end, but can’t understand why it hasn’t happened yet. Am I afraid of not being busy? Maybe some of it has to do with other people (parents, friends, authority figures) and their impressions of me. But I don’t honestly think that is it. I really just like being busy. But it is a problem when you are too busy, spread too thin and not content in each activity.
I know that when I am really busy, packing my day full with work, school, meeting friends for various things, walking dogs, interviewing, I am constantly focused on what is going to happen next. I found that when I was engaged in each individual part of my agenda, I wasn’t present. I am ready to be present, and I feel like that will only come if I am able to balance adequately my schedule. Allowing enough time for myself is something critical that I need to pay attention to.
So from now on, I will slow down. If I have free time in my day, I will keep it that way and use that time for myself. I feel that peace will follow me if I choose that path.
~Editor: Kate Bartolotta
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