I am a To-Do list kinda girl, always juggling multiple things at once and often times prone to stretching myself too thin. The only way I can keep myself straight is to write it all down in a list and throw it on my calendars (paper and electronic). To-Do lists keep my head on straight and help me manage my busy life. I enjoy the little boost of positivity and satisfaction I get when something gets crossed off. Sometimes I write an item down on my To-Do list that I have already done, just so I can have the joy of immediately then crossing it off (you know you’ve done it too, admit it).
I have been managing quite a lot these days in my personal life, school and my career and lately I have noticed that I am not really living in the moment. This could be at any particular time, such as when I am having a meal, playing with my dog or doing yoga. My mind is constantly thinking of the next thing I have to do, organizing my week and fitting everything I need to get done into its designated space. Like a puzzle clicking together.
As you can probably imagine, this gets quite exhausting. Sometimes I feel like I am letting my life pass me by. In my mission to find a fulfilling career and pursue my passion for health and wellness, I have overlooked the beauty and simplicity of just living each day. I so easily get caught up in what needs to get done to achieve my goals that I forget to just stop and smell the roses.
Due to these wonderful personality traits of mine (which often do come in handy, I won’t lie), I have a hard time just doing nothing. Of waking up to the sun instead of an alarm, putting the email away and just having a day with no goals or lists. A “go with the flow” kinda day. If I do end up having one of these days, it is often due to exhaustion from a week filled with non-stop activity. I never truly enjoy them because they are the result of me being so tired I can’t possibly do anything more, not the result of me not having anything to do or just wanting to do nothing. These don’t end well and ultimately my mind goes back to the To-Do list and what I should have gotten done instead of being a vegetable on the couch binge-watching TV.
I start most weekends with a lengthy list of things I need to get done. Of course some of those items are positive ones that I look forward to (my schoolwork, workouts and when I meet up with friends), but most relate to household chores, grocery shopping and various other items. These lists and the schedule they create have dictated most of my recent weekends. I have certainly gotten a lot done, but if I look back on these weekends and ask myself if they tipped the scales more towards fun or just okay, my answer is a resounding just okay. When we look back on our lives, are we going to remember the just okay weekends? No, we will remember the ones where we had fun. Where we truly lived.
This past weekend was a break from the norm. A weekend filled with fun, beautiful weather and friends. My best friend and I took a little road trip a few hours south to Richmond, VA for a cider festival and to meet up with some friends and family we know there. Now, any time my best friend and I are together, it is guaranteed to be a good time. But when we travel somewhere (near or far), it is guaranteed to be a great time filled with a lot of pictures, laughing, really good food, innocent shenanigans, the occasional drink (or two...) and memories that I will have for life. She helps me to live in the moment, appreciate all that I have and be okay with exactly where I am in my life. When we travel we don’t have much of a schedule, we just do what we want and see where it takes us. This weekend was a “go with the flow” type of weekend and it was exactly what I needed after weeks of non-stop To-Do lists.
On Sunday while my best friend spent time with her sister, I spent time with an old friend of mine I rarely get to see. We slept in (which for us is 8 am), took the dogs for a walk, went to Whole Foods, and drank coffee while sitting on the couch doing nothing. Well, we did watch the movie Armageddon, which I haven’t seen in years (Ben Affleck looked so young), but I digress... It was wonderful and for once my mind was silent and content. I was doing exactly what my body wanted and needed. Sometime during that morning I realized that I hadn’t checked my email in over 24 hours, which is a huge accomplishment for me. I had no goals. I just lived and caught up with my friend.
Reflecting back on this weekend, I have realized that I need a little more balance in my life. As much as I love school and working on my business, sometimes I need to just give my mind and body a little break. Put away the list and do something different that I truly want to do. Get out of the house, cease the vacuuming and just go live for a few hours. The lists will always be there when I get back and I will be ready to tackle them with renewed energy and a fresh perspective.
We all have things we need to get done in our lives. It is easy to let them take over and dominate our thoughts. When this happens, set aside time to relax and do nothing. We all need a lazy Sunday every once in a while. Sometimes the beauty of doing nothing is that you actually end up accomplishing something you never set out to do in the first place. I’d be willing to bet that it will involve fun and what truly makes you happy. And that is what life is all about.
~Peace, love and veggies~