Today was a productive day for me. I enjoy those type of days where you can have the pleasure of waking up without the need for an alarm while still knowing you have the whole day to take it on how you want.
There’s been this idea going around lately where we follow this sort of “hustle” culture. One where we always feel the need to be busy or else we’re nothing and the thought of being lazy and relaxing is something unheard of and frowned upon.
But, here’s the problem with this idea: it’s wrong. It’s wrong to feel like you have to run on a hundred percent of energy and have lists and tasks to do every and any waking hour of the day. It’s wrong to not take time to recharge and be okay with saying the word “no” sometimes to offers and going out. So, why do we still feel the need to be apart of this trend?
When I was being productive today, between doing laundry, cleaning my room and writing out other tasks I had to get done today I was cleaning out my desk. And when I did I found this note I wrote to myself back in May of this year and this is what it said:
“Life will find its way to all work out even when you don’t think it will and you’re trying to hold it together when you want to cry and feel so lost. Just keep going.”
I looked at that date and realized it’s been almost 3 months since I wrote that. When I wrote it at a time when I was having a hard time figuring things out. Things like being stressed with school, work, dating, money, and just life, in general, to be honest. I wanted to cry because I thought back to that time and have seen such a big growth in myself to the point where I can say I’ve never felt happier.
Now, I’m not saying that I still don’t have bad days and wish some things were different for me. But the one thing I’ll always be thankful for is getting to have another day. Another day to wake up and take it on and feel grateful that I have another chance to make something of my life.
One thing I’ve learned in my life as I’ve gotten older is how precious time really is. A lot of times I see the way people interact in the world. Whether it’s at a concert, at a restaurant or just walking around the city at night. I see so many of them wanting to capture the moments and looking down or arguing with their loved ones because something wasn’t right or they got something wrong. We seem to rather want to save those moments instead of live in them. We choose to let our anger out at something so trivial instead of moving on and learning to let things go.
It feels like we’re afraid of living so much in the “now” that we constantly have to keep thinking about tomorrow. So, we plan and we make lists of things that we can cross off. Because we need some semblance to know that we’re gonna be able to get to that. And it eventually becomes this sort of cycle where we keep waiting for tomorrow to happen by getting through the day we’re in now.
Now, let me be honest with you. I was always someone who needed to have a plan. Whether it was a ten year, five year, or even a plan for an event. I’ve kept a planner with me for most of my life. Jotting down simple tasks to feel a heavy sigh of relief when I got to cross it off. I started keeping myself busy after going through a terrible breakup. I wanted to reinvent a new schedule for me because I inevitably lost one I was used to for the last year and a half. So, it became piling myself up with work, making plans with friends every weekend, never learning to say no because I felt the need to be out and doing something.
It didn’t get bad until one time I just looked in the mirror before I was getting ready for work and I didn’t recognize the person staring back at me. Someone who was so tired and run down to a point where all I wished for was to stay in bed and not think about anything.
To say I’m doing a lot better is the truth. I’ve learned how to have a healthy balance of being busy but also taking time for myself. Because we need those moments of just reflecting on the day and feeling like even if you got one thing done that you wanted to that’s enough and you can go to bed still feeling fulfilled.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to live your life. All I want to do is make sure that you take care of yourself and not feel like you’re just a list that has to have everything crossed out. Or someone who just keeps looking ahead.
Live in the now, watch that sunset, take a night off to watch car races with your Mom because you haven’t seen her in almost a month. Go for a walk with your best friend instead of feeling sorry for yourself for not getting that paper done. Go out on a date with someone instead of feeling like you should be doing more work or catching up on other things.
Because right now is all that’s being promised to us. So, don’t waste it.