Do you ever get periods of your life where you feel like your hurling yourself through the days at break-neck speed? Rush, rush and rush some more. When there is so much you feel like you need to do that you wonder if real living is passing you by a bit. I want to do so many more meaningful things but find myself bogged down with the many mundane things that need to be done first.
I work Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, I tutor students Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings after work, it takes about 4 hours at the weekend to plan these sessions. Then there is the cleaning, cooking, washing, responding and taking an hour to write up the list of all the things I need to do. I get up at 6am (on the days I can make myself) before work so that I have at least 45 minutes a day to write.
It all begins to take its toll. I can feel my body tiring and growing heavy under it all.
All through last week, I had been looking forward to Friday night when I would meet with my Mum and Sister and go to the Late Shift at the National Portrait Gallery. There would be jazz…..
Drawing and dinner……
In an effort to look reasonable in the evening, I had even ventured to wear contact lenses instead of glasses…these days my eyes are too tired to wear contact lenses and Friday was no exception. By the time we got to dinner I felt utterly run down, my eyes stung, my limbs felt like they were carved out of stone and when I lent my head forwards it felt like a sack of potatoes trying to push against my forehead. I think it was all pure tiredness. Work has been particularly stressful at the moment and I was only sleeping very lightly waking up all the time throughout the night and the sign that I’m not at all relaxed…grinding my teeth.
I dream of having a stretch of time, a few weeks with everything taken away, where there is nothing to do but sleep, read and just sit in the middle of a beautiful patch of nature. I crave it, I need it but know its not possible.
What to do then? Well, I’ve forced myself to sit still for a moment or two and think about what all this busyness means.
1) I make myself busy.
2) I glorify being busy.
3) I’m slightly at a loss when I’m not busy
4) I’m obsessed with lists, and a lot of my time is spent creating lists to the extent that I spend more time writing the list then doing the things on the list!
5) I can’t complain about being busy when a lot of it is self-inflicted.
6) Secretly I love to be busy.
7) I equate business with using my time in a worthwhile way (this is a false presumption).
8) I need to focus on one thing instead of trying to do everything.
9) Doing too much is beginning to take its toll.
10) I need to stop and just be still once in a while.
Epiphanies are wondrous moments of reckoning, reckoning of yourself. I’m reckoning that there is a pattern emerging from all my past years. I always try to do more than is expected of me, I do more in any given situation than needs to be done. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Right now, I need to step away from this auto-pilot mode to do more and start to do less. I need to focus on what my body and soul need and use that as the maximum level of what I do each day.
To this end:
No more unnecessary lists, more writing and blogging, no more rushing (if I’m late, I’m late), more music, more exercise and less making myself busy for the sake of it.
How do you find time to do all the things you want to do? Do you know when its time to step back and be rather than do? Is there anything you should focus your time on more?