What happens when we stretch ourselves too thin? It hit me last night that I was exhausted. Sheer exhaustion … as in, I’m going to lay in bed and cry for an hour, take a nap at 6:30 p.m., and finish throwing a fit at 9:30 p.m. in time to order crappy Chinese food and watch episodes of Wings on Netflix. Last week, I was sick and everyone kept asking what was wrong, but it was merely the fact that I had worn myself out ala Lindsay Lohan style when she kept going to the hospital for exhaustion and needed shots of vitamin B. Yeah right, it was drugs, but still. I wanted to expand on what I shared Monday about slowing down.
I am so fixated on the end result that I miss out on small pleasures. Jon asked for a list of my schedule, any planned dinners for the week, projects that need to be done, etc., and I freaked because I realized that I’m busy for the next month. Why did I allow that to happen?!?! The other day Jon said, “can we spend one Saturday or Sunday in our pajamas doing nothing?” And you know what I did? I checked my calendar. And you know what else? According to my calendar, pajama day wasn’t going to happen until mid-March.
That’s bullshit. I am making a conscious effort to SLOW DOWN!
A friend shared the best analogy ever while I was talking about being upset that I hadn’t reached a personal goal. Although I understood why, I felt defeated because I wasn’t where I thought I should be at a certain point. My friend said, “it’s like planting flower seeds and yelling at them when they aren’t growing fast enough or tall enough. Everything grows at its own pace.”
I had this mental image of me standing in front of my flower bed yelling at the peonies to shape up damnit! But we don’t do that, so why do it to ourselves? Why do we enforce so many goals daily, monthly, yearly? Do we really need to own a home by a certain age? Do we really need to make a certain amount of money by a certain age? Does anyone really give a shit if I roast a chicken for dinner or make a sandwich? Do you care if I had dinner on the table at 7 p.m. or 10 p.m.? Seriously, what does this accomplish? Why are we so apt to be in control and not just let things unfold as they should?
Speaking of letting events unfold naturally, I need to clear something. I am asked all the time why I "don’t have a baby yet.” Someone said to my husband and me, “If you like children so much, why don’t you have one?” First, I find those questions unbelievably rude for a multitude of reasons. Secondly, if we were supposed to have a child at the age of 25, then we would have. If we are supposed to have a child at the age of 40, then so be it. It is okay to let life guide you. It is okay to reach big decisions naturally. It is okay to realize that each flower grows at a different pace, and everyone is okay exactly where they are. Yes, I have to constantly remind myself of that. I understand that this is a grandiose example of what I’m attempting to say in general, but I want to emphasize that I would like to focus on the present and enjoy each day because constantly running towards one achievement or the next wears me out.
However, goals are definitely important. I have list of goals that I was planning on sharing with you. I feel there needs to be a happy medium though. Is the desire of achieving goals getting in the way of enjoying simple pleasures? Are you bored when you’re not “doing something?” Why aren’t you comfortable with simply sitting still? I’m not, so this is just a question, not an accusation. I told my yoga colleagues that I’ve been so obsessed with ticking off the to-do list as quickly as possible that I haven’t absorbed the person I’m becoming. I know why I pile on so many goals and milestones, because I don’t think I’m good enough. All that gets me is a sick day and the feeling of being a ginormous stoner because I can’t even think.
So this is my declaration to slow down, to be more purposeful, to absorb the day’s events, to live in the present, to take care of myself, and to enjoy the ride.