Slowing Down

A few weeks ago I was feeling a bit burned out. Constantly tired. A bit irritable. Disappointed with things in general. Work had been hectic and I was fortunate enough to be able to take some time off, but afterwards I still felt completely worn out.

Something else was draining me, and I did foolish things. I went to our monthly neighborhood meeting at the wrong time. I was careless in dinner prep, spilled the food all over the floor, and then just ragequit and let my husband know that there would be no dinner that evening. At another event the next day, I went to a location on the other side of town before realizing that that location didn’t even make any sense.

I didn’t know what to do other than to curl up in bed and cry for a good while. At first I just felt more miserable because I should have been using that time to go water the garden, finish painting the bedroom, or write up a blog post I had thought of. And then it finally hit me. It was that long ToDo list that had been dragging me down. I needed to take some time to just relax, and what better way to do that than to stay curled up in bed for the rest of the day and enjoy a few scoops of my favorite ice cream.

My resolution to plant a few seeds in the garden every day? It changed to a resolution to plant nothing else for the rest of the month. I made an exception or two, but time spent in the garden was much more relaxing afterwards.

Those plans to finish painting the bedroom? On hold.

And the blog post? It takes at least an hour for me to write one. That’s in addition to the hour or several that I had been spending every day to read other blogs. I needed to cut back, but how much? And how? The only way for me really was cold turkey, and like gardening I resolved to stay off of WordPress for the rest of the month. At first it made me a bit anxious, but as I realized all the time it freed up it’s a decision I came to love.

It’s a new month now, and I feel refreshed. Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way, but those are the lessons that really stick. My ToDo list is filling out again after the hiatus, but I realize that those things can be prioritized and some of them can be postponed indefinitely. In fact most of them can be postponed indefinitely, and it feels so good to have escaped from that urgency. I’ll do things on my own time.