I’m Busy!

Why hello there blog. I’m sorry I have been neglecting you. A lot has happened in my life since the last time I posted. I made it through college and claimed my ticket to the real world (a.k.a my diploma) and that got me diddly squat for awhile. For half a year after graduating I stumbled around working various part time jobs, lifeguarding, babysittting, petsitting, teaching SAT prep and volunteering at a hospice. Whoops I am starting to sound like my resume. Moving on, I essentially drifted for six months, working irregular schedules, fretting about the future, and pondering what I wanted from life. Just like everyone does at some point in their life, if not for all of it.

Then after my period of limbo, I got a job offer. Just a temp position but something that was full time regular hours and actually kind of in my field. Naturally I snatched it up. I had to quit a couple of my babysitting gigs to take it on but I still kept everything else on my plate. Some weeks I would work 50-60 hours and with all that income flowing, I still continued to fret. “What am I going to do with my life now? Will I have enough money for a car and eventually a house? What if i lose my job[s]?”. Constant planning, always working, always busy, busy, busy. And what suffered? My social life. Granted, it is hard to make plans with friends when you friends are still in college an hour and a half away, or working in their new career thousands of miles away. So I accepted that there was no one to do anything with anyways and so my time was best spent working and saving for the future.

It took my boyfriend pointing out that I was stuck in the future to bring about my personal enlightenment. He told me that my mind is always planning so far into the future that I forget to ever focus on the present. Whoa. He was so right! I am in the prime of my life right now with a solid job (that temp job turned into a permanent salaried position!), incredible friends (that really aren’t that far to be honest), a nice new car, paid vacation days (courtesy of the new job), and good health. Why was I wasting my time working all these extra part time jobs for negligible amounts of money? Some of the fat in my life needed to be cut out.

So what fat could I afford to lose? None probably, I’m a very skinny gal. But really, what should I cut out? My full time job had to stay, volunteering is my giving back so that had to stay, teaching/ tutoring SAT prep is a gold mine that isn’t very time consuming, and the babysitting I do because I love the kids, not for money. So that left lifeguarding. A low paying job which I gained nothing from and sucked up precious summer days. And ladies and gentleman, today I quit!

Being that I am an A-type personality this was no easy feat. To give up something! To cut back on planning…. to say no to things! Previously unheard of for me. As a side note, I seem to have become a different person in college, but that’s for another day’s post. One of my deciding factors in this lifestyle change I am currently processing is Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive. I adore Arianna Huffington. And everything she writes is worth reading. Well, her newest book is about the third metric, which she proposes is an additional measure of success in life, alongside money and power. Really I had only been focusing on money and power [my career]. But there is so much more. The third metric is about well being, giving, wisdom, and wonder. That’s all I’m going to say about her book, because you ought to read it for yourself (and I haven’t finished it yet), but there is deep truth in that.

It is time for me to focus on the now. To enjoy this stage of my life before I am rooted down to a family of my own. I need to travel and explore, to experience the wonder that used to come so easily to me as a child and a teenager. It’s starting to come back to me, little by little, finding the amazement in nature and the mystical magic of cities. I need to embrace the wisdom of my elders and even acknowledge that sometimes children have unique wisdom to share from their perspective. I need to tend to my health and well being through yoga, mindfulness, meditation, healthy eating and exercising. My giving will continue through my volunteering at hospice, which I can now resume weekly since I have cut out one of my extraneous jobs. I will make a conscious effort to plan less and live spontaneously when possible because there is so much delight in that.

There is so much more I could say on this subject but alas I will have to get to bed soon now that I am on a fixed career schedule. But I will get back to this blog soon [really, I will this time!] and update anyone who is interested on my journey. I’m sure it will be challenging to embrace the uncertainty in life but it is a hurdle I know I can handle. Attached to this post is a fascinating article about the subject of “busy-ness” which I feel has quite a lot of truth to it. It’s time to make time for the things that really matter like friends, relaxing, traveling, and volunteer work. Oh, and guess what? Little ‘ol me, Miss I-Hate-College, is now planning on going back to college [part time] on my own accord for my masters. Funny how the world works.

The ‘Busy’ Trap- NY Times

Arianna Huffington on Thrive