FROM THE ARCHIVES: Making Time for Yourself
We've published hundreds of stories from 100+ writers in the last three years, so we're highlighting some of these timeless posts in our new From the Archives series. Enjoy!
I am not an organized person.
I'm saying this matter-of-factly… not in attempt to put myself down, because I’m trying to work on that. But my roommate is the kind of person who can sit down at the beginning of the week and plan everything out. She budgets her finances, sets an intention for the week, and sorts out her planner. Naturally, her self-awareness fills me with envy.
But after months of observing and experimenting, I realized her secret is quite simple. Despite her hectic schedule, she makes time for herself. Every. Single. Day. She's up by 6:30 am, she makes her coffee, reads something interesting, makes herself breakfast, and does whatever the heck she wants for a few hours. Every day.
I'm currently working 10-hour days. Factor in travel and sleep time, and I have approximately five hours to myself during the week. All of which is spent getting ready for work, getting ready for bed… or watching Netflix (a girl has got to decompress, okay?). But the way I’ve been living leaves no room to focus on things in my own life.
I’ve allowed myself to fall into this routine that is toxic to my personal productivity. And I’m the type of person who cannot be fully satisfied from just work, I need to see advancements in my personal life to feel a real sense of accomplishment. But lately, I’ve spent every free moment thinking of all the things I need to do and dreaming up all the things I want to do that I don’t leave myself enough time to actually do them.
The other night, I got home from work at my usual, sad time of 8 pm and upon entering the apartment, my roommates were on their way to check out a beer garden downtown. At first I thought to myself, no way, it’s a Wednesday night, my cozy bed and shameless hours of drama at the Seattle Grace Hospital are waiting for me.
But that’s when it hit me. I constantly complain about not having a life outside of work yet here I am, so quick to turn it down for a "Grey’s Anatomy" marathon and a facemask. The only reason why all I do is work and sleep is because I’m choosing to only work and sleep. How has this gotten past me all this time?
There are things you hear all your life that you sort of just disregard; lessons that are just words until they’re more. But when you hear these things in a certain way or you go through something yourself, you finally realize how detrimental it is to your existence, and that’s enough to make a change.
I feel like so many of us are coasting through the workweek, dreaming about the weekend, constantly in a state of waiting or wishing our lives away. So why not do something crazy on a Wednesday night or wake up early to treat yourself to a nice breakfast? By putting energy into the little things, we can truly be present for everything.
[Photo by Julie Bloom.]
[This post was originally published February 19, 2017.]
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