Hey everyone! TGIF, right? I know my Friday posts are usually light and fun, but I’ve got to use this time today to write about something with a little more substance. So, grab some coffee (or wine, if you’re reading this later in the day) and get settled… it’s a long, wordy, fairly picture-less post, but I am hoping some of you can relate and shed some light in the comments section.
I don’t know what has been going on this week, but I’ve just been in a bit of a “funk” for the vast majority of it. Why, you might ask? Well, that’s the thing. I can’t put my finger on it, which is probably the most frustrating part of it all! When I try to think about it, about what is really the issue, I keep coming back to the same thing: I am tired. Not necessarily due to lack of sleep (regardless of how busy I am, I can generally still get my 8 hours of sleep, which is my only saving grace in the crazy-busy lifestyle I am currently leading), but more with everything I have been juggling. As much as April was an absolutely wonderful month filled with so many birthday celebrations, baby celebrations, wedding celebrations and general “start of spring” celebrations, I think I packed in too much. It makes me tired just thinking about everything that I did in April, but, since we’re on the topic, let’s just recap for the fun of it.
-On top of everything, and even though I have loads of flexibility with my “real” job and get to work from home as often as I would like, it is still tiring. Commuting into the city and to the gym right from work at least 3 days out of the week is a lot! On the days I come into the office (mostly Mon-Thurs), I leave the house around 7:45 and don’t get home until 8:15-8:30. After a full day of work, commuting with lots of bags, teaching one or two classes, I am beat. Mentally and physically exhausted. Granted, I do this to myself, so I’m not looking for pity, but it’s times like this that I realize I am trying to do TOO MUCH.
-Also, my very good friend, JP, gave his notice right before my birthday, so it’s been pretty lonely around the office without him!
–Teaching lots of classes
–Trying to keep up with cooking healthy meals once a week
–Birthday celebrations, part 1
–Birthday Celebrations parts 2 & 3
-Christy’s Shower, trying to have a social life, gardening
And, these are just the events I made it to… I was not able to make it to my dear friend, Caitlin’s, baby shower in Maine because of teaching which made me so sad:(
For the first 2 weeks in April, I was teaching SIX classes each week. And, after the 2nd week, I was still teaching 5. And you know what? It was too much. I found myself running on empty far more often than I should and getting more injuries, the number 1 sign that I needed to slow down. But, did I? Absolutely not. And was that smart? Absolutely not. Do I have issues where I take on too much? Definitely.
Doesn’t the world we live in tend to foster the mind frame of “I am SO busy. I do this, this and this. How much do YOU do?”, and those who don’t do as much are seen as inferior by those who do too much? It totally does. And, sadly, I find myself caught up in the comparison of “who leads a busier life?!” more often than I would like to admit. Is this something I am proud of? No, definitely not, but I am working on it, though! Being busier than someone doesn’t make you better (not saying I felt that way, but I think it’s common). Teaching 10 classes a week AND working a full-time job doesn’t make you a better instructor than someone who only teaches 2 or 3. Working multiple jobs and still being able to make every social event doesn’t mean you can manage your time better than someone who doesn’t do that. More isn’t always better. It’s tiring and although one can likely maintain juggling lots of balls for a short period, there will be a time where they will hit a wall, and I am here now, being honest, saying I have hit that wall.
My Dynamax class has not hit the minimum number of participants for this session yet, and even though taking a break (if my numbers don’t go up) for a session would probably be a blessing in disguise, my immediate reaction was, “I failed at this. My numbers were so high all the other sessions, but they aren’t this session. What did I do wrong?”. Luckily, Athena reminded me that it wasn’t a failure; I agreed to teaching this class as a short-term thing… a “I’ll try it out for a session. It’s just 8 weeks” sort of thing, yet, 8 months later, I am still teaching it (granted, it’s one of my favorite classes, so it’s not a burden at all). She also reminded me that if I don’t have to teach it this session, I could have more time for MY OWN workouts… what a thought, huh?!
You may be asking yourself “why does she keep doing this to herself? Why doesn’t she just take time to relax and do nothing?”. Good question. Quite simply, I feel guilty when I am not maxing out my schedule. I know, I seem so ridiculous even to myself when I
say type that. I feel like I am wasting time if I am not filling it with plans. I LIKE the feeling of being on the go and having a full schedule. Heck, when I have a day off, I find myself spending time FILLING UP my day off with all sorts of plans. Do I really need to go to Target? Clean the apartment? Cook or bake? No, probably not, but I do them because when they are finished, I feel good! I feel great, actually. The satisfaction of crossing things off my to-do list far surpasses the looming feeling I get when I don’t do the things I feel like I should be doing. Crazy, again. I told you I was being honest here!
Anyway, what I am trying to say, is that this week made me realize that even though I think I can handle everything and keep taking things on, there will always come a time where it’s too much to handle. As my mom tells me “you’ve hit a wall. It happens. It’s a reminder that you need to slow down.” It’s OK to take an afternoon and do absolutely nothing besides snuggle up on the couch and read a book, catch up on magazines or get sucked into watching hours of reality TV. It’s OK to say “no” to things that people ask you to do. It’s OK to put off cleaning the apartment, going grocery shopping or cooking in lieu of hanging out with friends and grabbing a drink or bite to eat. Unfortunately, for people like me (please tell me I am not the only one), all of that sounds great in theory, but it’s incredibly hard to actually follow through with.
I am going home to Maine for Mother’s Day next weekend and I am really excited about it. Especially after this week. For the first time since Christmas, I am going to be able to spend more than 24 hours there, and this couldn’t come at a more perfect time. Maine, by nature, is a relaxing, peaceful and slow-paced (ok, more slow-paced than Boston, especially in Shapleigh!), and even though I might start to go stir crazy by the end of the weekend, I know it is just what I need to get back to my normal self!
If you made it this far, thanks for reading and listening to me vent. I hope that maybe some of you can relate or share some words of wisdom to help me out!
Questions for you: Do you thrive on being busy? Are you a list maker? Have you ever “hit a wall” like I have? Do share- it will make me feel better (and less crazy!!). I promise I’ll be back to regular, light-hearted posts in no time. Just had to get this off my chest!
9 thoughts on “Some “real” thoughts/words for a Friday”
You already know I can relate to this post… we are extremely similar in this respect, and not that I am glad you are feeling like you’ve hit this wall, but I am glad to have a friend to talk to when I experience the same types of feelings. Not many people understand this kind of mentality, so I am thankful for our conversations about this!
That being said, my answers are… YES I thrive on being busy, YES I make a ton of lists, and YES I have hit a wall… several times. You just need to learn from them and figure out what works for you. Cutting back on the # of classes I was teaching (went from three to two) gives me time for my own workouts and more time for blogging which I love and enjoy. I am getting better at just leaving emails in my inbox to respond to later, knowing they will still be there the next day and I don’t need to respond to them in 2.5 seconds.
Somebody told me a good piece of advice. Pick ONE area to slow down on, and focus on that one area only, at least to start. That way you don’t feel so overwhelmed trying to slow down everywhere… smaller goals are more manageable, just like we tell all our class members and clients.
Hope your weekend away next weekend will be just what you need!
I know, it’s really comforting knowing that someone else understands exactly where I am coming from!
I like that advice, a lot. Far too often I think people just tell us to “slow down”… it is so overwhelming trying to slow down on EVERYTHING, so you’re right- I should pick one area.
Thanks for your advice- on here and in gchat:)
Wow!! Your blog really hit home–I guess “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!” is appropriate here( of course, I’m on a Jonny Appleseed thing, having just visited his hometown of Leominster,MA today!!) I have to admit, I’m guilty of the same issue–I always try to fill in unplanned hours. I so understand what you’re saying! Great reflection, honey! Mom
Ok, enough with the Jonny Appleseed references! jkjk. Thanks, mom, although maybe I shouldn’t thank you since I am exactly like you in this respect!
What a heartfelt post. I totally understand where you are coming from. I know you and you know me and we are very much the same in this aspect of feeling “guilty” when we aren’t busy. Always remember, you come first. I’m thinking of you and hoping you had a relaxing weekend! xoxo miss you
Thanks, Meredith! I know you totally know where I am coming from. Thanks for your kind words! xoox