Call me sentimental. I’ve been in a state of reflection lately – analyzing what I choose to involve myself in, who I choose to surround myself by, what I allow myself to worry about, and most importantly how I spend my time.
Have you ever noticed the more you get involved in “stuff” the more you feel you need to be involved in more “stuff”? Maybe that’s just me. I tend to overextend myself and before I know it my plate is full, I feel overwhelmed, and I’m not really able to feel the spirit and joy that comes from focusing on things that really matter.
Coming off my family vacation, I realized I’d done it again. My life was too full of things that may temporarily seem important but in the long-term scheme of things…aren’t really. And it stressed me out. Honestly this past week all I’ve wanted to do is sleep, so that’s what I’ve done. Instead of hitting the gym at 5 am or even earlier, I’ve allowed myself to sleep in – sometimes as late as 7. I’ve even turned off my alarm at 6:30, hitting the snooze button, and pushing it back to the absolute last minute when I HAD to get up.
Tired? Yes. Needed? Yes. But was part of it to escape all the minutia I’d allowed in my schedule? Definitely yes.
When I get to that point I’ve found I can do one of three things. 1) I can pretend as if it’s only a phase and attempt to push through. 2) I can try to escape it by sleeping, napping, shopping, or anything that will take my mind off all the “to-do’s” I’ve locked myself in to, or 3) I can make changes.
While I’ve done any combination of the three over the years, the third option is always the best. It’s provides the most satisfaction, relief, and peace. It’s a reality-check, an opportunity to weed out the minutia, and really focus on those things which matter most. And really, isn’t that what we all want?
“The enemy of the best is the good.” I have always loved that quote, and I need to remind myself of it often. There are plenty of good activities that can and will fill my time, but what are the best? The best activities aren’t always those that you can cross-off. Sometimes they are things we don’t typically add to our lists – like reading with our kiddos, spending some time after school just chilling together, making cookies, or doing stuff that reinforces the family. And our kiddos. They are only under our direct influence for so long, and I know that that time is quickly passing.
So what did I do? Well, first, I’ve felt I’ve been spending way too much time at the gym. Yes, I love it. It’s my time away. I love love love love it. That hasn’t changed. But do I need to be there at the butt crack of dawn and stay for 2 or even close to 3 hours? Uh, no. That’s not saying I might not find myself still doing that from time to time, for now I am really focusing on NOT. An hour of lifting with 30 minutes of cardio is perfectly adequate to get the results I need if I push hard while I’m there, eliminate extra “chatting”, and stay on point with my nutrition.
I’m allowing myself to sleep in. I’ve found that even if I do sleep in for a bit and hit the gym at some later time during the day but keep it to an hour (assuming I’ve already ran) or an hour and a half (if I still need to do both), it really doesn’t disrupt my schedule that much. And the extra sleep I get in the morning gives me more energy throughout the day AND I’m able to not turn in to a Zombie come 9 pm. That means I’m able to be coherent and spend more time with my family later. I know Greg loves that.
I’ve also cut back on social media.
I might not catch every post, every story, or every update. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It only means that I feel strongly that I should be spending more of my time on other things.
Last week I had a friend ask me how I was doing – stating she was worried because she hadn’t seen me posting as much on social media. I found myself defending my absence from it. The reality was nothing was wrong. If anything everything was better. I’d been on a family vacation where I completely detached from all work and from all social media. And then upon returning I went straight down to St. George to spend some time with my mom and dad. Again, for the most part I avoided social media. The posts I did share were personal ones – mostly of Zane and some of my mom and I over Halloween. But work? Nada.
I’m calendaring the projects I want to be involved in. I’m staging them. There are many great things that I want to do with my time, with my new business She Lifts Gear and with my foodie site @utfitfoodie, but I don’t need to do them all right now. I have time.
I’m saying “no” more often, so that when I say “yes”, I can say it and mean it.
So those are a few changes I am making. I miss blogging. I really do. THIS feels good. So many of the blog entries I’ve written as of late have come as deadlines and not promptings. I miss the blog entries where I felt strongly about something and just sat down to write. Like this. I want to allow more of THOSE things back in to my schedule, you know?
I’d like to think that one of the reasons women choose to follow me is not only because I’m whatever you’d like to call “fit” but because I really do try to live right. I’m forever after my own “balance”. I’m trying to stay true to my own beliefs, live a life I can feel happy about, while still pursuing goals and dreams that I have. I will always be goal driven. That’s just me, and I am totally the kind of person who throws herself in to things completely. And sometimes it’s hard to pull back when I don’t want to.
And I do mess up, and I do make mistakes, and at times I find myself being selfish, ungrateful, and inconsiderate. And when those things do happen, I am the hardest on myself, but I always realize it, own up, and regroup. That makes me human.
And I’m a little tired of being told what I should be doing, how I should be spending my time, how I should be eating, what projects I should be involved in. They are all good things, granted. But, I choose. And there’s only so much time.
When I fill my life with too much “stuff” I find I am less of a friend, less of a neighbor, less of a ward member, less of a server, less of a mom, and less of the person I really want to be.