We are poised at the end of 2017, which means we are close to both Christmas and Thanksgiving! and if you are a college student, finals week (can you hear me crying?)
The stress of the end of the year had me thinking on a time when I thought it was okay to be stressed frequently, because it meant I was “getting stuff done”.
Being extremely busy is something I used to love, or thought I loved.
When I was busy my first few semesters of college I felt fulfilled and productive.
The first few weeks of summer or winter break I would feel relieved that the work load had finally ceased… but after a few weeks restlessness would creep in, and I would actually miss being busy, because I thought it would make me feel fulfilled.
When I went back to class in Spring 2017 I juggled 18 hours, which proved to be more than enough to keep me busy. However I also tried to work out every day, walk my dogs, do homework, keep our apartment clean, spend time with Austin, as well as visit with family and friends. I wanted 4.0 semester, and I was running myself ragged trying to get it and keep up with all of the other things in my life.
As I spent day in and day out rushing to get everything done I found myself, and our home, literally breaking down.
My anxiety was at an all time high, at a point where it was truly crippling. Our apartment was a wreck, and I began to shut down.
I was so busy I had forgotten what it meant to have nothing to do, to not have something looming over my shoulder and causing a tightening in my chest. I longed for the days when I could sit down with a book and truly enjoy myself.
Being so busy was actually counter-productive for me. Instead of getting a lot of things accomplished, I felt overwhelmed by my schedule and to-do list, and entirely shut down.
This is why I want to live a slower life, and avoid being constantly busy. I want to get the most out of my days, but most importantly enjoy them.
I want to have enough things to do in which I feel fulfilled, but never again will I overload myself and set such high expectations.
If our apartment is messy, I stay calm and clean a little at a time. My dogs may not get a walk every single day, but they get it enough, and if I don’t make an A in every class, I am calmly accepting of that now, because I have realized my mental health is most important.
I have realized living a life I enjoy is most important, along with contributing to the happiness of my friends and family. I want to spend my time learning to be a better person, traveling, being a good friend, wife, and daughter.
We don’t get to be here very long, and too often we forget what the point of even being alive is. When we are at the end of our lives we aren’t going to regret a B or even a failed class. We aren’t going to regret a messy home.
I am speaking to all “perfectionists” when I say this:
What we will regret is that evening we didn’t spend with our parents, or not being there for our friends when they needed us. We will regret having been blind to the world passing around us and having spent our entire lives in a rush.
When I begin to feel overwhelmed I try to step back and ask myself what I can let go. When I do this I always realize that in comparison with my feelings, the things that are causing my stress are not nearly as important.
Because of this, I have realized I want to live my life intentionally. When I am old I want to know I have done everything I desired, enhanced the lives of others, and lived happily. When I am gone I want to know I left something behind and actively made a difference in people’s lives. Although I don’t want to have a negative impact on the world, I also don’t want it to be passive. I believe spending my life rushing with school/work or completing errands will leave me unsatisfied and feeling like I made no difference.
This is why I am constantly thinking “What would make me happy?” or
“What could I do for this friend to make their day a little better?”
I am always thinking of future trips for my husband and I, because spending time together in travel is something we love to do.
When choosing a career path I have been pondering on paths that would bring me joy, not money.
Life is about cultivating happiness in your own life, and giving it to others.
Thanks for reading!