I've learned something about myself recently - which in and of itself is pretty amazing considering how old I am. You'd think that by the time you hit 35, you'd know everything there was to know about yourself. Evidently this is not the case, because I just had a pretty big life lesson.
Feeling as though life was passing me by, that I was wasting my nights away with my nose in a book, or blogging, or watching "Greys Anatomy" - I resolved to take on more projects. I was going to be busy. Life was going to be hectic. Every moment from dawn to dusk would be filled - it was going to be great. I was going to feel useful and productive and a real live contributing member of society.
And it's not like it's any big deal. I mean people do it all the time and they thrive. They're the better for it. I was so excited. There are two people who come to mind immediately who are constant over achievers and they LOVE it. You two, you know who you are. I am amazed by how much they fit into a 24 hour period. I wanted to be just like them.
At Q's school, I volunteered to be the 'Emergency Preparedness Coordinator', Editor of the PAC (they don't call it the PTA anymore...it's the PAC - Parent Advisory Committee) newsletter (monthly distribution to 245 families), and I also volunteered to organize a Christmas craft for 66 children at a Christmas Craft night at the school. This involved cutting out and sewing together by hand 66 felt coffee sleeves.
Next, I joined a book club. I was super excited about this. A whole bunch of ladies sitting around discussing a great read, drinking wine and eating appies? Seriously, what could be better?? Nothing much in my books.
Q has soccer twice a week and skating lessons on Tuesday. Tack on a half an hour to an hour a day practicing for his spelling test on Friday (by Thursday night we were still spelling Invisible, i-l-l-i-s-e. There were tears and I don't think they were Q's).
Christmas at the Post Office is always a little...hectic (and that is putting it mildly). It's pretty much a given that I will work 6-7 days a week for the month of December. This is the deal. Co-workers post statuses on FB about not being contactable for a month and not to start looking for their body or knocking their front doors down. The thing is, I love being super crazy busy at work. It makes the day go by fast. I feel useful. I feel smart!
I was busy seven days a week. Busy, busy, busy.
Turns out, I do not thrive being busy all the time. Turns out, I am the type of person who thrives being at home in the evening reading a good book, watching a t.v. show or two, imparting my wisdom on my blog and getting an average of 9-10 hours of sleep a night.
I had four loads of clean laundry sitting on my couch for a week because I didn't have time (or was too exhausted) to fold it. I hadn't grocery shopped in weeks and just ran to the store for essentials like milk and bread. The house was a mess. Q was eating Chef Boy-R-Dee or McDonald's for dinner like every night. Christmas cards that I pride myself in making every year had gone unmade. My blog was neglected. My friends were neglected. My life was in disarray. I was in a continual state of agitation and panic.
The rush I get from being busy at work is not the same rush I get from being busy in LIFE.
I haven't read a book in months. I had to bail on the book club. I bought store made Christmas cards and have been carrying them around in my purse for a week now, hoping to find the time on my lunch break to write "Merry Christmas, Love C and Q!!"
I learned my lesson.
I am not an over achiever. I am an achiever. That is it. I love having my nose in a book whenever I get a free moment. I love writing on my blog. I love having a clean house, with clean clothes. I even really like making Q a healthy meal for dinner and having time to clean it up afterwards. I love, love, love sleeping - and functioning on 6 hours is NOT an option.
I cannot change who I am. Well, I guess I could...if these qualities were really super bad or destructive. But I think in this case I'll just roll with it. I don't want to run myself ragged for the rest of my life. I want to be happy. I can take on a volunteer project here and there, sure.
But my number 1 priority right now, is raising a healthy, happy child. And the best way to do that is being healthy and happy myself.
And by actually being there, present. That's pretty important too.
I guess an old gal really can learn new tricks.