Have you ever found yourself randomly at a Target a 10:30am on a Tuesday and been shocked at the sheer number of people you see leisurely shopping? What about when you’re frantically driving past a park at 2:45pm on the way to a dentist appointment that you scheduled months ago, but forgot you had because it wasn’t on your calendar, and you see a couple holding hands and taking a slow walk and feeding the ducks? I recently realized that my entire adult life has been spent rushing from one place to another, while simultaneously looking around me and wondering the age old question, “Who has the time for that?” Feel free to insert any number of enjoyable activities here.
I started my career in advertising as an intern in college, and I was immediately drawn to the every day hustle and bustle, client fire drills, arbitrary deadlines that you had to kill yourself to make. It was exciting! It was fun! It was creative! The stuff dreams were made of. But at some point, I became completely and utterly exhausted, and didn’t even have the time to notice.
I’ve now mentioned many times that in February, I made a life change. Having several offers, I took a job that felt like the “safe choice.” A slower pace, no longer managing people, flexibility, work from home, all those buzz words that indicate boring. But do you know what I’ve discovered in these 6 months? Peace.
It’s fascinating, actually. I once spent my days running from meeting to meeting, fire drill to fire drill, facing my stressors one by one until it was finally time to call it a day (usually later than I had planned on working). When I left, I would then rush around doing all those important personal things that I had to postpone because my entire focus was work — calling a friend or family member back, taking my dogs to the vet, getting to the gym after 6pm, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, cooking, taking out the trash, paying the bills, the list goes on. I was lucky to have enough time to watch an hour of TV or spend 30 minutes of quality time with my spouse. On the weekends, I was either essentially immobile or so amped up that I would continue doing all the things so that some of my load would be lightened the following week. For years, I operated this way.
Fast forward to today, and it’s amazing how the times have changed. For the first time, I’m not exhausted. I mostly feel rested. At times, I’ll admit, I get bored. However, it’s been good to remember that I am the master of my own destiny — if I’m bored, there are any number of ways I can pass the time. Especially some that I enjoy. This year alone, I’ve read 26 books! I’ve run a tight ship at the house — I once again have time to fold laundry. During the week, I’ve consistently taken an hour a day for myself, whether that be by the pool, or napping, or meditating or whatever. Sometimes I even watch trashy TV. If I feel like getting out, I run errands, meet friends for lunch, grab a coffee. I make plans. And then do them. I’ve volunteered. I’ve considered starting additional businesses. I’ve focused on my health (mind and body). And I’ve yet to have a non busy day.
It’s awesome, and fun, and exciting, and I’m feeling grateful for the time I’ve had to decompress. I’m no longer the person asking “who has time for that?” I’m the person who people are asking that question about. And I suggest you try it — because who has time to lose, when there’s a whole life waiting for you to enjoy it right at your fingertips?
Thanks for reading! Xo.