Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lessons at Middle Age

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'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.

No comments:

Post a Comment