This is a new feature I’m trying out in which I take a few seconds to chat about things that are on my mind – typically of the bookish variety, but sometimes other things about just life in general.
Slacking Off on Your Favs
Most of us have these things called “jobs;” some of us have one, others have two, others have three, others four (*sobs* why am I like this?!). Others have these equally different responsibilities called being a mother, being a wife, being a caregiver. We all have responsibilities that take up a good portion of every single one of our days, Sunday-Saturday. Whether it’s retail, food service, housework, meal planning, corporate, call centers, etc – we all have responsibilities.
We all have these other things that we love to do that have nothing to do with what we do for a living. These other things that we try to make special time for, because they bring comfort or joy or relaxation or laughter or peace. These other things can take on so many different forms (but I’ll list a few here so you can get a feel for what I’m trying to convey).
Knitting. Planning. Drawing. Crocheting. Biking. Photography.
Reading. Gardening. Writing. Hiking. Gaming. Scrapbooking.
Blogging. Painting. Baking. Exercising. Camping.
These are the things that make our heart feel full and bring joy to our day to day lives. You know what I’m talking about – the things that get you to make this face.
Now comes the reason for this post – it all comes down to something I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older and had less time to devote to my favorite non-work related things. I realized that the guilt and stress and sadness over not being able to spend time on those things eats me up sometimes … and then I realized that I had to stop letting it do that, because it was sucking the joy out of them.
I have a lot of things that I love to do, but the main three that eat me up with guilt when I have to temporarily abandon them are reading, blogging, and planning. I LOVE all of them so so so so much, and I feel such a sense of accomplishment and happiness when I finish a book, publish a blog post, or finish a weekly spread in my planner. But on the flip side, I also feel this huge knot in my stomach when I haven’t read in a week, or published anything new to my blog in the past month, or when my planner has just been sitting untouched on my desk.
Y’all. It is SUCH A FINE LINE.
A few weeks ago I had an entire day off (which for me, right now, is rare – maybe 1 every 2 months?). And let me tell you, I had plans.
SUCH PLANS. MANY PLANS. PLANS.
I was going to get at least a week’s worth of blog posts scheduled, update my planner and get my next weekly spread situated, and read at least 50 pages of my book. I mean, I had 24 hours! I could get that done in 24 hours, no problem. Right? I bet we can all guess where this is going – I didn’t do one single bit of any of that. By the time 10pm came around, I was sitting on the couch with my boyfriend and I was just in the most awful funk and I couldn’t figure out what to do. I thought back over the day and how upset I was at how little I had accomplished – and that’s when I realized something.
I HAD accomplished something. Actually, I had accomplished a lot of somethings. I did my laundry – folded and hung up and everything (including linens!). I cleaned and straightened my room. I paid 3 of my bills. I went grocery shopping and meal planned for the entire week. I went on a 2 mile walk, just for the heck of it, with my boyfriend. We watched a movie that had been on our “to-see” list for ages. I spent quality cuddle time with both of my kitties. I vacuumed. I cleaned out the fridge. I relaxed, and breathed, and took some time for me.
I was so busy beating myself up for not relaxing in the proper Lindsey way and I didn’t even realize that as I’ve gotten older, the definition of “relaxing” has changed, and is still changing – every day. Sometimes relaxing is laying in bed watching my favorite episodes of my favorite shows and just letting my body loosen. Sometimes it’s cleaning and straightening and organizing so that it’s easier to breathe when I’m home. And sometimes – sometimes! – it’s still blogging and planning.
AND BY JOVE, THAT IS OKAY.
I see this a lot not only in myself, but in others around me in real life and online – we are constantly berating ourselves for how our blogs haven’t been updated, or how little we’ve read this month, or that we still haven’t watched that movie or finished that scarf or (*insert how you beat yourself up here*). And honestly, I think we deserve better from ourselves.
Ever since that day, I’ve actively tried to think about not beating myself up for living my life and not always having time to do the things that I want. Every time I feel myself start to get anxious, I try to think of 5 things I accomplished that day, no matter how small I think they are. (Sometimes the small stuff takes a lot out of you, even if it only technically takes 5 mins to accomplish).
I love this blog. I love planning. And I’m going to keep doing both – but it’s going to be sporadic for the next few days/week/months/years. And I’ve got to figure out how to be okay with that (I’m sure it’ll be a work in progress, every day, but we’re always works in progress, aren’t we?). When I can do it all the time, I will take joy in that. And when I can only do it once a month, I’ll take joy in all the other things I’m accomplishing throughout my days.
So here’s to calming myself down, and just doing my thing. Whatever “my thing” that day happens to be. (And in the meantime, maybe sleeping more. Sleeping could totally be my thing this month…)
Do you experience this too? Isn’t it the most ridiculous thing, how much we beat ourselves up for, you know, living? And working, and paying bills and being able to afford stuff? I mean. GOSH.
What do you do when you find yourself stressing out about slacking on your favs? Do you have any tried and true methods for keeping the stomach knots at bay and just enjoying your day? If so – please share!!! <3