Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Making Time- What’s That!?!?

First off, writing every single day is kind of hard which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the month. I brainstormed a great list of ideas for the month, but the inspiration hasn’t hit for writing most of them. Perhaps with the upcoming long weekend I will force myself to sit and write like crazy.

Which probably won’t happen. Not because I don’t want it to, but more because in the list of life, it’s usually the first thing to be shoved aside. Which is probably my worst habit ( actually tied with worrying about silly things).

Is this just a woman problem? An overachiever problem? A task oriented person problem? Or perhaps it’s just a problem for people with overactive imaginations, brains that never stop thinking, and to do list makers.

I know the things I need to do for my sanity like time to unwind after work and those have become an important part of my routine. But the other things- the painting, writing, the little projects I’ve been thinking of for years- they are routinely pushed aside for any number of excuses, though lately it’s a lack of energy/motivation/interest/mental space in my free time. It’s not like a lack of time is an issue- I’m not busy at all and have huge spans of time that are not scheduled. It’s not a lack of wanting to do them ( though I guess I could say that if I wanted it bad enough, it will happen).

Take weight loss for example. I’m in the two steps forward, one step back routine lately even though I’m eating better than ever ( well, except for the carb overload at my friend’s wedding Sunday and the brownies sitting in the breakroom right now) and exercising more than I used to ( well walking is more like it with spurts of yoga). I want to lose weight, but at the same time, it’s like “well, I have a lot of clothes in this size and I’m healthy so it’s not an urgency thing and I like my body.” So I want it, but not really. And the times I want it is usually when I’m frustrated by the roll of fat below my bra or something that is in the moment frustration.

Other things I’ve pushed aside for the my biggest excuse answer: money. I can’t go to a coffee shop and read/write/brainstorm/plan world domination because I have a tight budget and why would I go sit in an uncomfy chair with $5 coffee when I can hang out at my house and do the same for practically free ( whatever the price of an individual KCup would factor out to). Of course the answer is: “Kristen you should leave the house because if you stay you will do 10,000 other things than paint or write.” But then my brain thinks ” well staying home you could clean the bathroom, organize the closets, and get the basement finished.” So I stay home and what do I do? Spend 20 minutes on every social network I subscribe to, play Candy Crush or Solitaire, and complain about the house being a mess. Or worse, start a project and decide halfway through that I’m either too tired, too overwhelmed, or just generally not in the mood.

Clearly, I’m caught in a vicious cycle. I tried stop making to do lists for awhile thinking that if I got off the task oriented wheel of life that I would 1. be more spontaneous and 2. actually get the things done that mattered to me or I wanted to do instead of being attached to the list of life. This worked for a tiny short period of time so much that I’m thinking of instituting it again. I tried carving out time on Sunday afternoons for writing/painting/whatever, but this hasn’t worked so well because I like to reserve that time for cooking/prep for the week ahead or more importantly, naps. Sunday mornings are a good time to write and it’s something I used to do, but I’ve recently become slightly obsessed with the NY TImes Sunday crossword and since I’m still a newbie, it takes me more time than I’d like to admit to complete it.

Lately, I’m trying to do the things I think of when I think of them– instead of looking at the pile of handwash only tops and thinking “I’ll do this Saturday morning,” I just pick them up and do them at that moment. In theory, this makes what matters happen and then leaves free time to be scheduled ( an oxymoron, I know) for the things I’d like to be doing more of for my enjoyment. So far this has worked half of the time because then I end up sort of in a frantic multitasking state where I’m going from room to room with random things going on, all the while forgetting what I was doing in the previous room. Overactive mind or just completely mindboggled? Probably the same thing.

I don’t think there is a complete answer here except that I know I have to keep trying to find the balance between the desire to do the mundane silly things and the activities I want & need to be doing. I’m not sure that any one person has the answer and I think even the most zen person in the world still feels like there isn’t enough time to meditate their day away and make sure the floor is swept. I’m sure that as soon as I think I have it all figured out, life will change again, leaving me grasping at time to get it all done.

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