So, hi there.
I’ve missed this place. I’ve set a timer and I’m giving myself 20 minutes to say whatever I can in the time that I have. Because time is a fleeting thing for me. Or at least “free” time is fleeting.
I’m not editing or worried about flow, so if this is disjointed, oh well. I need to brain dump and that’s what this space is for, right? Cool. Let’s dump. (Errmmm…)
I read an article a while ago about “busy-ness” and I’ve never been able to get it out of my head. The premise is that people say they’re busy but really, they aren’t. They’re just filling their time with nonsense and complaining about being busy as a way to make themselves feel and sound important.
I have no doubt that this is true for some people. It isn’t true for me.
I am legitimately, sun up to sun down, busy.
Every minute of my day is filled with something, and in my more idle moments, like while driving or showering (when I do that) the feeling is always niggling in my head that I need to be doing something more important than whatever it is I’m doing at the time.
I have a really, really hard time shutting myself off. There’s a story to be covered. There’s a child to be fed. A book to be read to one of those children. A load of laundry to be washed. Another story to be covered because Justin Bieber got arrested again and not a whole lot of time for me.
I needed to have a pretty important talk with my mom and it took me nearly two weeks to have it and part of it was because I didn’t have time to devote to the gravity of the conversation. I didn’t want to have to cut it short or be distracted and then it reached critical mass and I had to have the talk while distracted and also working on a story.
And then I read an article about time. Specifically the difference between mom time and dad time. I can’t stop thinking about it. Every word of it felt like my life being written by someone else.
Moms and dads do not, in my experience, experience time in the same way. Maybe some do, but many don’t.
(This isn’t a knock at moms or dads. It isn’t. It’s just an observation. Take it or leave it.)
Leisure time doesn’t really feel like it exists for me right now. Time to sit and read or watch TV or go to Starbucks and screw around on my phone or get a pedicure or gab with a friend over lunch doesn’t feel like my reality right now. The idea of having leisure time like that actually sort of stresses me out because I can’t get everything done that needs to be done in order for me to feel like I could actually relax while doing whatever said leisure activity may be.
The argument that if I wanted to do those things I would make time to do them kind of makes my brain spazz out because hey, that time actually does not exist in my 24 hour day.
This balance that I’m trying to find in 2014? So far it’s eluding me. I’m trying to find it, I am.
But as I survey the chaos of toys scattered from one end of my house to the other and I look at the calendar and see that not only are we on our eighth snow day of the semester tomorrow, my kids also have mid-winter break next week and there is something on my calendar for every weekend from here to Mother’s Day, I know that this is harder than I thought it would be.
But I’m medicated. And in therapy. And I do make time for that. But taking an hour and a half away from work every two weeks to take care of my mental health isn’t at all the same as taking an hour and a half away from work to do nothing, you know?
It’s not the same. Self-care IS part of mental health and prioritizing myself is part of self-care, but it’s hard to decide when to do that and when I really need to keep my nose to the grindstone and my shoulder to the wheel. If you give me a choice, and some would say that’s all this is really, I’m probably always going to choose the latter.
It’s kind of in my nature to prioritize everyone and everything before myself. I’m not sure that’s changing any time soon, and given this stage of my life, I’m not sure it’s possible.
So I’m here. I am. But I’m busy and there’s not a lot of free time.
Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered)
Monday 17th of February 2014
I know. It's so hard. Seriously. We just don't really get that down time. When we do, we tend to turn it into something else. Or at least I know I do that, totally. But good for you for recognizing it. Now do it. Find the time to sit down at Starbucks with a good book. And not your phone and work and whatnot happening. Try it. DO IT. ;) And now for me to take my own advice, right?