Friday, September 10, 2010

to-do junkie

I lead a crazy life. I think I always have. Before it was working and grad school and church positions it was college and dating and cross country and a double major and minor, and before that it was something similar I'm sure. I remember distinctly the times in my life when things have slowed down just a bit. When I lived in Virginia I had lots of downtime on the weekends because I had no friends and was leprous to the dating community at the time. I didn't always love that time but I was creative in how I utilized it. I would go for drives - it was, afterall, the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains are incredible. I loved these drives and I would find so much beauty in nature. I would pull over and take pictures of the leaves and the river and the deer. Only a year later I was married and while life was picking up pace a bit, we still had plenty of time to wade out to the center of the wide, slow river and throw rocks at things.
Now, I seldom have time for drives and when I see my husband, we don't wade out to the middle of the river (never mind that in UT this would mean death - these are crazy fast rivers here). Yesterday I was helping a friend of mine paint and glam up her kitchen. She marveled at how much I was able to get done in a day, and I boasted about how I may not have many strengths but one of them is that I get *&@! done.
And I do.
If you were to look at my life, and I mean this frankly and not boastfully, you likely would be impressed with the things I've been able to accomplish in such a short time. I'd list them but that really would be boasting. Suffice it to say that I make a list each week of things to get done and it is usually around 20 - 30 things (this does not include work stuff - but little wonder that I became a project manager) and there are very few weeks that everything is not crossed off. And if you think I'm bad, then know that I married a man who is very much my equal.
There is a price for living life at warp speed. I have seen my husband for a total of about 2.5 hours in the last 5 days. And Monday was Labor day. I suppose absence makes the heart grow fonder but neither of us is out of town and we actually live together and sleep in the same bed. Soooo thats, like, not good.
People sometimes look at my schedule and in a very un-informed manner think up solutions for what I could cut out. Or they will tell me that things will slow back down when I'm done with school in the spring... but I think I might be sick in the head, like my life is a car stuck in overdrive. I honestly don't think I know how to slow down. When I think about what I will do when school concludes, I think - oh awesome, here is a list of things I would love to do now that school is over.
Every once in a while I have a small breakdown and I run off to the mountains somewhere and just sit and avoid all my responsibilities. I re-charge my batteries and then keep going. But I don't want all of my relax time to be broken-down-hiding-in-the-mountains time. The problem is I usually don't realize that I need relax time till I am at the broken-down-time.
I don't know if this all makes sense. I don't know if I'm the only one who struggles with this. I do know that I need to get a better grasp of this, especially before I decide to take a chance and throw a baby into the mix (back burner issue at the moment and no I'm not pregnant or trying).
I recognize that life balance is a life skill but if anyone has any advice, I'm listening.


Aleisha Z. Coleman said...

what REALLY are the consequences of the run away broken down recharge battery recharge times besides guilt? then maybe there is your answer...

Nat said...

I went through something similiar the first couple years in our marriage. . .I always have to be on the go and doing 12 things at once otherwise I'm not happy. But it came to the point where I never saw Michael anymore because it seemed like there was more productive things to do with my time. What finally broke the cycle was my to-do list - I would write down everything I wanted to do and would normally do, then I'd go back and try to cross out at least 1/3 of them, the ones that weren't crucial (things like paint the kitchen, learn to crochet, etc). It worked for me b/c I felt like I was still "achieving" everything on my to-do list, whether by doing it or CHOOSING to ignore it. I don't know if that's helpful or not but maybe worth a try.

Tanya said...

I can't live that way, but some people (like you of course) can, else they wouldn't be doing it. You'll slow down when and IF you don't like that life anymore.

Elizabeth said...

I think we are made of the same genetic material or something. I am only capable of living a hectic life and I constantly have a to-do list scrolling in my mind even when trying to relax. I've only gotten worse with kids. I guess I'm not to the point yet where it is too much, but then again I'm not sure I would even recognize it when that happens.