I have finally reached the age where cancelling plans feels so good. Scrap that. It feels incredible — like an instant wave of relief washing over you. When you have very limited time off, you find yourself grasping for little pockets of time that you can take back. Even just an hour here and there makes a huge difference for your well-being. Turns out that taking care of yourself is important. Whoops!
I was crazy enough leading up to the wedding with everything going on, but I found myself in an equally busy situation shortly after returning from the honeymoon. I was running on fumes for probably about 9 months, working full-time plus and gigging two days a week (sometimes more), plus other various things. If anyone attempted to mess with my one day off my claws would come out and a very ugly side of me would surface. I was a very grumpy human being, just ask Will.
The money was nice, but woof.....I was stressed, irritable, and not giving myself the kind of self-care I really needed. I also used the stress as an excuse not to exercise from time to time. Worst of all, I let this stress affect my one day off and any other off time I had. I couldn't seem to disconnect and just relax. To top it off, I couldn't seem to get any sleep, ever, no matter how early I went to bed. Rinse and repeat for 9 months. I couldn't take it anymore, and poor Will probably couldn't either. I had to start taking back control of things where I could in order to improve the situation.
Step one was to stop letting work spill into my lunch hour and commit to working out during that time. I now have a yoga mat in my office, I bring my gym bag every day, and if I don't feel like doing yoga, lifting at the local gym or running, I just go for a walk.
Step two was to figure out how to cancel some plans in order to have more time off. It was time to say goodbye to one of my outside gigs. Now that that's done and dusted I can actually cook a healthy meal that night and hang out with Will and the pugs. If you've never experienced the snuggle fest that is couch time with pugs, you need to remedy that ASAP. It's the best. Go get a pug, or several, right now. DO IT!
Side note: You know those plans you politely make with people even though those people are actually toxic to be around? Make yourself more of a priority and DON'T DO THAT! If they zap all your happy and/or have an overwhelmingly negative aura about them, don't be around them anymore than you have to. Especially don't volunteer for that crap, for the love of God...It took me forever to figure that out.
Step three was to de-clutter, which I'm still in the process of doing. Even though it's a work in progress, getting the house in order and getting rid of stuff we don't use or need has actually been quite a relief. Plus, then I get to donate the stuff to my good friends at Friends of Animal Rescue. It's also an excuse to visit with them and the animals, which makes me happy. :)
Step four was to actually do the opposite and make some plans. I know, I know...totally contradicting myself here, but hear me out. Because I was "so busy," I wasn't taking the time to stay connected with the important people in my life. It's so easy to get wrapped up in what you're doing that you lose sight of the important things. So whether staying connected is a text, a phone call, happy hour, a meal, an activity or whatever...I need more of that in my life with my favorite people. It's good for my soul.
Plus, I've found that I can catch up with someone on the phone while I walk on my lunch break. Multi-tasking + Decompressing = Winning
Also, as much as I love it down here at the bottom of the world, I miss my Ohio people. So there's that...
I guess in "canceling plans" I ended up making other plans (and continue to do so), but the right ones — not the ones that you somehow feel obligated to participate in for no good reason. Stuff will always come up, but I feel like I've got a better handle on what my needs are and how to balance that with everything else going on.
I consider this sort of a spring cleaning for my soul. I've never watched the show, but Marie Kondo's catch phrase is really resonating with me right now: "Does it bring you joy? If not, get rid of it!" Preach, girl. Preach.
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm in my 30s, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."