Yesterday, I had one of those rush-around-like-a-crazy-person days where I had every second crammed full, and I found myself elevating my bed to The Most Amazing Place on Earth status and wishing life had a STOP button.
I love my go-go-go life and find that I’m more productive and manage my free time better when I am busiest and forced to make time for everything, but man — sometimes, life just catches up with you and makes your head spin. All I could think about yesterday while I was feeling stretched in a million directions and rushing from one thing to the next was that working your life away really isn’t very ladylike :), and that I think I’d be much happier if my life looked like cycles of this for a while (or for the next 30 years):
Well, wouldn’t that be a nice “Things to do today” list? Pretty sure I can manage these four tasks juuuuust fine, at the top of my A-game.
Instead, my day yesterday looked like this: wake up, rush to gym, have a great workout with my trainer, rush to work, meet a friend for lunch, then from work right to class (an hour away), home from class and immediately write music (and we got some good lyrics down, yay!) with my musician friend until 10pm when I crashed. Hard.
Now, I love all of these things and consciously put them in my life, so I have no right to complain. I just felt a bit overwhelmed and started thinking about how it’s tough to build margin into your life when you have so many interests — and this is what my life looks like after I was forced to cut some things out and prioritize.
But still, there are things I’d like to add. I want to be more active in my church, and join a small group again. I want to start doing yoga or pilates and work out these darn tight hips of mine. I don’t want to cut out time with my girlfriends or traveling upstate to see my family or dating. Thankfully, I generally have a really low stress level and can manage a lot of activity at one time, and I’m not a worry-er, so this ordered chaos works for me. But I still need to remind myself to be conscious of planning some down time — and subway rides where I read while traveling to my next event just don’t count.
It’s when you toss in the routines of work and school and day-to-day living that sometimes seems to press down all at once, and you have those moments of, “Is this really it? Life just keeps going like this, until it doesn’t?” that you start to feel yourself slip a bit and ask those big philosophical questions, like, “What am I going to do with the next 80 years of my life??” (for those of us who plan to live to be 110, obvi).
And the answer is simple: just keep moving forward.
One day at a time — because that’s all we have. It’s those little steps, that gradual climb, that get us to where we want to go. Yes, this can seem daunting, or frustrating, or fruitless — but if you stick with it, it’s none of those: it’s success.
More likely than not, tomorrow will come, and we’ll start another day with a renewed sense of gratitute and a silly annoyance at our own propensity to sweat the small things. I got up this morning to work out and shook off any remainders of yesterday’s stress, remembering that all these things that comprise my life are privileges. The only thing I need to feel is thankful.
Sure, there will be days when we all feel like throwing in the towel: when the running seems too hard, or work isn’t fulfilling, or we just don’t feel like we’re where we want to be in our lives…but it’s never too late to try something new, or do some rearranging to accommodate your dreams.
That’s what makes life such a wonderful, mysterious journey: the boldness to try. You choose something, you try it, and you see how it goes. If it’s not for you, well — you count your losses, eat something peanutbuttery, dust yourself off and some try something else. Because the truth is, even if you feel like the world is ending, it isn’t. So you might as well do something while you figure out the next right answer.
The only real failure is the failure of self, when you stop believing in your own ability to begin again. And at that point, well — you call your mom. Because when you don’t know ground from sky, that’s pretty much the best way to keep your feet beneath you while you try to remember how to use your wings.
(Or maybe that’s just me.)