my life, the emergency
When asked how I've been doing, recently I've been making a conscious effort to not just say "I've been busy." Not only is it a conversation killer, but every time I say it, I feel like I make all of the things I have done less and less important.
It's known that TIME is the great equalizer. I used to try to defy that, as my dad would always say that I would "burn the candle at both ends". I generally don't like sleeping because it prevents me from doing everything I want to do. In a world where doing more is an option and praised, as there are constantly so many stimulating things going on, it's easy to get carried away. My ultimate litmus test is how patient I am with my parents. When I find myself becoming more irritable and impatient especially with my mom, I know I need to stop. Stop, step back, and re-evaluate what I'm doing.
The other night I had this feeling that Life was just punching me repetitively in the face. I can't remember the specifics now, but it's usually coupled with the feeling of rejection over and over again. Rejection, with all its different meanings. But I remember crossing the street that night debating whether I should fight this feeling and not give up. Or embrace it - and go with the punches (with arms open).
Do you take the reins and control your life (more active, probably more work). Or do you just say, loosely hold the reins and let the horse guide you (more passive, more zen, and more work in a different way). << I struggle with this often. >>
I constantly have these reminders (Google Photos notifications, yearly Facebook auto-made videos, Parker getting older) that time is just ... passing. Fast. And I'm left baffled and anxious, worrying that time is just leaving me behind.
I stumbled upon Laura Vanderkam's TED talk who talks about time. She says that even if you're slammed and really busy, if there is an emergency (her example was a water pipe breaking in the house) you miraculously find time to deal with this crisis. Her message was that we need to "treat our priorities" like we would an emergency. Like we would this water pipe breaking.
Time is elastic. Time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.
Often I feel anxious when I feel like I'm being dragged around and don't have control over what I'm doing. Or I find myself doing things that I don't really want to be doing. Sometimes in my mind I can imagine myself being stretched out like a helpless, unhappy octopus. Or like a liquid that has spilled and it just spreading over the surface of a table. As a result, I feel busy and emotionally exhausted - yet left feeling like I haven't accomplished anything. Or feeling like I haven't accomplished anything for myself.
So I've been trying to really own my time. This translates to really being honest with myself and knowing what I want to do, and how I want to spend my time. Translates to saying no to the things that I don't really want to do. Translates to being OK with not be able to do everything I might want to do because there just isn't all the time to do it.
I want to feel like every minute I spend is my choice. I'm hoping that this will lead to being more present, and also feeling more confident. More empowered.
Many of the themes and conversations I have at work are starting to bleed into my personal life. What should I prioritize? What are my goals? What should I be focused on and spending my time doing?
I was talking to some folks about how New Year's resolutions are usually additive. Every year its all about doing more. More exercise, more hobbies, more traveling, more reading, more news, more artistic / creative, more musical, more friends, more meditating... more flossing.
But what about a New Year's resolution to do less? Do less, so that you can spend time doing and thinking about the things that you want to do - and do them really well. Spending time investing in the people and things that are important to you. Being present and there for the people you care about.
So recently I find myself still saying that things have been busy. But busy doing the things that I want to do.