I always have grandiose plans for a long weekend. I'm going to clean my entire place, organize a closet, and get some artwork done in between all this remarkable productivity after yoga but before I meditate. Yeah, right. I managed to make my bed, (note, pick blankets up off floor that were kicked off!) ... put away some, not all my clothes, kept the sink empty but not the counters, and although plenty of sketchbooks and cameras are staring at me, haven't actually used any one of them....yet. But the remote, my laptop and my coffee mug have all gotten plenty of use...(heavy sigh...) Honestly,though... I'm finally fine with this because I think I'm (slowly) learning to tone down the lists and be OK with doing less, better.
I write this and chuckle because I know how many of us not only do this, but continue to do it. No lesson is learned, no recollection of all those times you had all those plans and you never got to them. Just blind faith that, "This time....I'll do it!"....which really, is kind of adorable in it's naivety. What I'm realizing about my work habits as of late is that not only can I not do what I used to do, which was amass a HUGE to do list, get myself AMPED on caffeine and loud music and PLOW through said list with fierce determination and focus.(I'm having an anxiety attack just thinking about it as I type.) WTF?! No wonder I developed hypothyroidism, chronic back problems and stress-induced anxiety. Mind you, I was doing all of this as a part of what I thought was expected of me for my job. And yes, I'm going there. We all have expectations put upon us for our careers and for the most part I believe that we are probably pretty accepting of them as a part of life. I'm not complaining about my job in general. But what I am wanting to address, now that I've emerged from the burn out the a fore mentioned work habits triggered, is that I'm no longer willing to put myself through that ringer and have consciously adopted a new pace. My brain doesn't work as fast as it used to, and to be honest, there isn't as much bandwidth to access anymore with the speed life is going and the expectation that I'm to keep up with it. Am I worried? I was at one point. Would I be seen as a failure? Would I be considered less than in some way? Natural questions when you put the brakes on and DECIDE to be less productive in the name of health and sanity.
Our natural disposition is to constantly be busy and productive. Wrong answer. The wall I hit was the best thing that happened because it's made me, forced me really to take a step back from the aggressive to do list's and unspoken urgency to produce in favor of rest and pondering. Ponder all I've collected, amassed and culled. All that pinning I've been doing? It's worth nothing if I don't make time to try one of the recipes. All the books I've gathered...I want to dive into them without the pressure of plans pulling me from really digesting the words. It's always something, but I'm at the point in my life where I want to be selective about where I put my energy and although it sounds cliche, the non-essential things can wait. I've still got a lot of clearing out to do of those closets filled with yesterdays projects and old habits. But I'm only going to tackle one at a time, while the new soup recipe I'm trying simmers. And that's enough.