Unscheduled Life

I wrote this post about a month ago. I talked about how my mental health is as important as my attention to my physical health, and summarized it with a mini-inspirational-revelation that I need to take the time to schedule some “me” time. Time to read, time to do yoga, time to kill brain cells with bad TV – whatever, just some down time.

First off, I didn’t do that. At all. I didn’t even think about it after I wrote that post. Actually, I didn’t even remember writing that post until I was skimming through my blog today.

I was actually planning to write about my scheduled life in this post, but with a much different attitude than I had a month ago. My stress hasn’t gone away, sleep patterns haven’t changed, and my social/personal life is still at the bottom of my list of priorities. Why? Because everything is scheduled.

If you look at my personal calendar (that I keep on my phone because I’m incredibly forgetful), you’ll see a dot on nearly every day, indicating that something is happening. These are dinner plans, social events, meetings, games, doctor’s appointments – everything outside of my regularly scheduled, Monday-Friday, 9-5 job.

These dots don’t take my training schedule into account, which I am generally exercising until around 7pm in one way or another. Running outside, going to classes, or lifting weights at the gym. Usually, if I have to go on a run or go to a meeting, I prioritize the meeting. My physical health becomes the lesser priority. My mental health then suffers because I get frustrated that my intended 6 times/week exercise plan would turn into half of that by the time Saturday comes. Readers, you’ve seen the result of this. Friends, you’ve heard me whine about this. Thank you for listening.

Every week I tell myself, “well that was just one week, this upcoming week won’t be as busy.” Every week I lie to myself and prove it wrong. I continue to be busy, scheduled, and stressed. I said it a month ago, and I can say it again – it’s all coming to a head.

I cry spontaneously, feel physically ill, and never get a good nights sleep. Something needs to change.

Here’s the part where I make the revelation. The part where I say, “more ME time! No more schedules! Do what makes ME happy!” If I said that now, I would be lying, and I know it. I have become so used to being busy and scheduled – something that started with my over-involvement in college – that if I’m not doing something with every single moment of my life, I feel like I’m wasting time. I recently forced myself to not multi-task when I am trying to watch a TV series because either I don’t get work done, or I don’t follow the story line. While I watch TV (and only watch TV), I think about all the things I could be doing in that moment instead. Mental health: diminished.

So now what? I’ve identified the problem and can name a solution, but it’s a solution I don’t like. Take on more “me” time by dumping the part-time work I do? By exercising less? Quitting my job? Not seeing friends? Something needs to change.

I’m not sure what that change realistically is – but it’s not something that I can solve through a blog post (as evident by the post I wrote about a month ago). Maybe it’s drinking more tea, doing yoga in the morning, or seeing a therapist, but it’s something that I need to figure out for myself.



Leave a Reply