I didn’t have an anxiety attack at work yesterday. Maybe the first time since coming back from Christmas. I learned a lot about happiness that week. The week between Christmas and about January 2, I worked about 2 hours per day average, some days not at all, some days up to 4 or 5. But nothing compared to my normal, busy schedule. I walked, read, did yoga, worked out, meditated, drank lots of water, ate a lot of vegetables, cooked, cleaned my house, got sunlight, was creative, hung out with people who fill me up, slept a lot, and did higher than normal amounts of nothing. I kinda surrender into an Ok’ness I don’t think I’ve experienced before.
I don’t think I’ve had such a chill week since…fuck…I guess ever. Since I was 14 and started working. I had had weekends away, doing fabulous things with overbooked schedules. And I’ve thrust myself into stressful meditation retreats.
Hot and Cold—I found a lukewarm.
And it felt so much more like perfect than anything else I’ve ever experienced.
Nothing extraordinary happened. I was just happy, joyful, fulfilled, energetic.
I dove right back in to my full schedule very apprehensively, and rightfully so, with some hardcore anxiety and depression. Knowing what I want from life, and not being able to have it right now, usually makes me blame and shame myself; a constant, soft reminder that things take time. And It isn’t my, or anyone else’s fault that things aren’t exactly where I want them right now.
(and that they probably never will be, but that’s a different blog)
So. Here I am, in the beginning stages of what feels like another big life shift.
I want to make my whole life more like that week.
It feels overwhelming, I know it will take months or years to simplify.
THINGS. TAKE. TIME.
I believe it is possible, and I believe it is worth it.
I don’t believe, especially now that I realize what I want, that I even have a choice.
I believe the cultural belief that this is a fairy tale and is not possible is toxic, designed to keep us making money and buying things we don’t really want, and is killing us.
But I can’t speak for you, so here is what I want:
I want more time in my day to be spent enjoying life than to be doing something that is some type of building for the future. Right now, enjoying is very little part of my life. I love my job, a lot, so I got sucked into thinking it is ok to give my entire life to it. It’s not true. Work is still work no matter how much you love it. I work a lot, and when I am not working, I am working out, or sending emails, or cooking, or cleaning, or trying to recover mentally, and physically from how tired I am, just so I can continue doing it. I want my free time to be free. If my energy is completely depleted, or I am ravished with guilt about how I am not doing enough, while I am doing nothing, that is not enjoying. I refuse to not enjoy the majority of my life.
I want to walk at least an hour a day. It feels so human. Yesterday was one of the first days I went on a long walk since my schedule got crazy again. I truly believe this is why I was ok at work. I think a lot of times people confuse “exercise” with walking. Walking is a basic human need and we should do it regardless of if we exercise or not. I will spare you the scientific literature, but I am sure it’s there if you wanna look. Walking is irreplaceably good for your mental and physical health, and I think we don’t do it more just because it is time consuming.
I want to do yoga everyday. (And/or gymnastics, stretching, intuitive/primal movement something.) I like it. If feels good. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel more connected in my body. The human body is meant to be moved and I know, for me, this is the key to pain reduction and injury prevention as I age.
I want to drink more water than coffee. I want to not need coffee. I drink coffee because I am sad and it tastes good, I get a headache if I don’t, I want to rest and I don’t have time to, I want more happiness from my food than my food gave me, etc. Coffee is not the problem. Coffee is a Band-Aid to these problems. I want to reduce these problems, not put on more band-aids. I, however, for the record, do not plan to ever stop drinking coffee. I just force myself to drink a full glass of water between each cup. It’s actually been pretty successful in the past couple days! Try it?
I want to meditate daily. There is no point in meditation, it’s just time spent doing as least amount as possible, which seems like a worthy way to spend time.
I want to go to sleep when I am tired and wake up when I am not.
I want to workout daily.
I want to be outside a lot.
I want to have the energy to coach my kids as well as they deserve.
I want to have a full day of the week off with no plans. Like, wake up and be like “What do I feel like doing today?”
I wanna cook. I really like cooking. I just have a lot of fear and anxiety about losing time and often feel like it’s not worth it.
I want time to not be such a commodity.