I’ve been on a major self-improvement kick lately. I’ve started taking French classes, implemented a daily exercise regimen, started meal planning, tried to embody the principles of UFYH, and redone my budget to better reflect my priorities. I’ve started blogging, knitted up a storm, shopped to dress like a grown up, researched my family history, set a daily reading goal, and began toying around with Getting Things Done.
These changes have had some serious benefits to my overall well-being. My French is improving, I’ve lost ten pounds, Steph’s twins are going to have the coolest and most original blankets ever, my perpetually disorganized space doesn’t look like the aftermath of an explosion. I’ve started pursuing goals and thinking about the life I want to live and the person I want to be, and doing everything I can to make these ideas reality.
But (and isn’t there always a catch?), the busy October schedule I alluded to in our September recap, combined with actual fatigue, has me wondering if becoming the person I want to be is just too damn exhausting.
I’ve been reading a lot of self-help articles with my goals in mind: how to best learn a language, how to be healthier, how to get people to read your blog, how to be financially responsible in your 20s, how to be organized, etc., etc., etc. The universal thing every article recommends is time. Time to use French every day, time to work out, time to meal plan and cook, time to review your budget, time to clean… it actually feels never-ending.
While it certainly isn’t too much to ask to spend an hour per day on French, or knitting, or fitness, or eating healthy, or reading, or blogging trying to do everything only serves to underscore how little time I have left after doing the bare minimum to be a functioning member of society. I only have so many “just one hours” in the time between getting home from work and bed. Short of giving up sleep & showers and getting every meal from a delivery service, there really isn’t anymore time to be gained from the day.
I’ve actually seen articles that recommend giving up sleep if you really want to try something new. Sleep one hour less per night, and in no time you’ll have a new skill!!! Of course, this contradicts every other health and wellness article that says if you do nothing else for yourself, be sure to get enough sleep every night. Also, sleeping less makes me grumpy, and the coffee I could use to combat the grumps makes me crazy.
I wish I could tell you I’d found the magic formula for getting everything done, but I’m still totally winging it. Making lists of what has to get done the next day at night helps me stay on task with the major things, but I try not to stress out too much when I run out of time. I frequently hit a point in my day where I cannot do any more productive things and need to lay on the floor (freshly shampooed carpets are the best) and watch YouTube videos Grace sends me of Irish bands. I try to take the same attitude with being healthier. I’m finally eating vegetables, which is great! I’m also overwhelmed by cravings for cheeseburgers so intense that Grace and I have to split “second-lunch” at McDonald’s by pooling dollars we find in the bottom of purses and drawers because, “if you pay with cash it doesn’t count.”
For all of my complaining, I really am happiest when I’m busy. My weekends are going to be filled with stuff I actually want to do, like getting fitted for bras at a luxury boutique with Alison and watching WVU play its homecoming game after a med-school tailgate with my sister. I’m excited to watch one of my best friends get married, and to celebrate growing up with others. I just need to find a way to stay focused on my goals while I’m off having fun.
I think I need a vacation…