Life is busy. I think more of us than not live lives filled with crazy work schedules, tons of extra-curriculars (especially if you have kids), and lots of stress because of these crazy schedules. Being asked how you are and responding Crazy busy, used to be a badge of honor almost. I think society is shifting a bit though. I’m not sure if it’s because of Covid or something else but I think it’s good that people are wanting to slow down the pace of their lives.
I have lived a crazy busy life for just about as long as I can remember. I blamed it on being a single parent for awhile. Working full-time and then juggling in all the kid responsibilities was hectic. This got even more crazy once the kids got into sports and other extracurriculars like junior firefighters. It seemed like I lived at either the office, in my car, or on the sidelines of a sports field for several years.
A New Stage in Life
My kids are basically grown now. Both have graduated from college and one is living in another city. I should have all types of time to relax now, right? Nope, now that my kids are independent, I’ve become a workaholic.
Why is it so hard to slow down? I loved our lives being consumed with kid stuff. Nothing better than watching your kids enjoying their activities and being part of that. I did find myself thinking that once that ended, I was going to have a lot more time do the things I love to do. That time is now and I’m not really embracing it. How come?
This really isn’t a feel sorry for me post. I do certainly spend time each weekend perusing some of my favorite stores (mostly window shopping). I also find time to spend an hour or two each weekend at my favorite bookstore, browsing and writing. This is a post I think to find out if I’m the rarity or if this is a problem with other people in my stage of life-the one where the kids are grown.
The Good News
I just spent the last two weekends out of town. I visited my son in his new city last weekend for an early birthday celebratory weekend for him. He cooked me dinner the night I got there, we out way too much the rest of the weekend and we just hung out. I got a little shopping in, he bought himself a new car, and we watched Hamilton on Disney+. It was a great weekend.
I’m writing this post sitting outside of my friend’s camper at a campground in Bowling Green. We’ve gotten into the habit of coming down on parents weekend for our kids college for the last 5 years. My kids have now graduated but this is senior year for my friends’ daughter so I tagged along again. The weather turned much more Fall-ish (is that a word?) just in time for the weekend. There was a little bit of time dog-sitting, several hours of sitting by a campfire, and a little bit of shopping time where I bought almost the exact jacket I had been searching for the last few weeks. It was very relaxing and much needed.
As I’m sitting here typing this out, I am also realizing this is actually the 3rd weekend in a row I didn’t go into the office. I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time that happened.
Disclaimer: no one tells me to go into the office on the weekends or work beyond my scheduled hours. It’s quiet and I can knock a lot of work out without the phones ringing off the hook or people walking in. It’s my choice to do that.
Is it Just Me??
Why is it so hard to prioritize yourself? Is it just a parent thing? Maybe a single parent thing? I find myself doing it with both time and money.
An example of this is my car’s air conditioning. It’s been out for weeks and it’s been hot as hell this summer. But I had just spent a fortune on my car for another issue (Chrysler’s are apparently crazy expensive for any little repair because of the way they’re made-that could be whole post by itself, lol) and I decided I could wait until a friend had a chance to look at it. Now if my kids air conditioner had been out on their cars in this weather, I would have insisted they get it fixed and probably offered to pay for it. Why didn’t I extend the same courtesy to myself?
I’m a big believer in baby steps. It’s another busy season at my work so I’m not going to declare something crazy like I’m not going to work over even one minute from now on. I do think I’m going to try to eliminate coming in on the weekends though.
I spoke about Hygge on my last post and when I re-read that post I was thrilled to see I had knocked out a couple of items on that list with this past weekend’s road trip. Maybe each weekend I will try to knock at least another item off the list.
Any tips for me? How do you prioritize yourself? Do you suffer from the guilt of trying to do it all?