I think I am beginning to accept reality. I am trying to do too much.
I want to be able to do it all.
I want to run marathons and raise money for charity and grow my own food and learn how to knit and spend time with my family and write the blog and write a book and start a radio show and renovate some rooms in my house and start reading more and start playing golf again.
And that’s only a tiny fraction of my list.
I probably could find a way to do it all. But I wouldn’t be having fun.
Because I want to slow down. I need to slow down.
I am going non stop. All the time.
Checking off items on my list isn’t sufficient now.
Somehow if I actually do manage to check everything off, I have now convinced myself that I didn’t put enough things on the list.
Rather than checking everything off the list and then enjoying the rest of my day, or at least a part of it, I am adding more stuff to do.
What the heck is wrong with me?
I am not resting.
I am not relaxing.
I am still of the mindset that taking some time to do nothing is not an option for me.
It’s insane. And it’s burning me out. And I know better.
I hate winter. With a passion.
And this past winter here in CT was especially shitty.
Summer is finally here, I have a pool in my backyard that I have been waiting for nine months to sit and relax by, and I am not taking any time to enjoy it.
I do not want to have another September roll around and find myself wishing I could have a do over.
I know where a lot of this stems from. It’s financial. I have convinced myself that until we have plenty of extra money, I must keep going at this insane pace.
But maybe it’s possible that this insane pace is preventing me from getting to that level of financial freedom that I desire rather than helping me.
And besides, I wouldn’t tell someone else in my situation that they can’t relax at all until they have a few grand in an emergency fund.
Poor people deserve to rest too.
This didn’t just occur to me today.
I have been thinking about this for the past two weeks, and I have already made some changes.
How have I simplified so far?
I started getting up earlier.
This has made a huge difference for me. It has allowed me to start my day in a much more relaxed manner. I have time to think before the kids wake up. I can check a few things off the list before the madness of the day begins.
Eating those frogs and not having them hanging over my head has freed up not only physical time, but also emotional time.
I’ve stopped working at night.
I had gotten myself into the habit of getting the kids into bed and then doing some more work from 9:30 until 11 p.m.
Knowing I still had so much work to do when I really wanted to be relaxing or sleeping wasn’t helping me.
Committing to being done for the day by the time the kids are in bed has helped me to stay more focused during the day. Because if it doesn’t get done then, it’s not getting done.
And this also made it possible for me to get up earlier.
So what am I going to focus on for the next week to continue to simplify and to give myself time to relax?
1) I am reserving Sunday afternoons for rest.
I’m not particularly religious.
Okay. I’m not religious at all. But doesn’t the Bible say that Sunday is a day of rest?
How did my life get so turned around that Sunday has now become the day for me to cram as many tasks and activities into it as I possibly can?
Just this past week I was thinking that I should set aside time on Sunday to teach swim lessons.
I need to slow down.
And you know what I want to do?
I want to sit and read a magazine. From cover to cover.
I haven’t done that in a long, long time.
And if I happen to doze off while I’m doing that, well…
I deserve it.
This is going to be hard. I know I will struggle with ignoring the “you could be getting this or that done” thoughts.
So I’m going to start with just an hour on Sunday afternoons.
2) I’m not taking the phone to bed with me anymore.
This one will be even harder. I’ve been using the excuse that my alarm is on my phone.
But I do have an alarm clock.
I’m going to start using it.
And I’m going to stop wasting time on my phone at night.
I’m staying up later as a result of looking at stupid stuff on it, and it’s not helping me get up earlier!
At 9:00 I’m going to turn it off.
And instead, I’m going to start reading again.
That’s my plan for this week.
How about you?
Have your Sundays gotten out of control?
If so, maybe this is your sign that it’s time for you to slow down, too.