Whoa, it’s been eight months since I last posted?! I swear, time seems to go by more quickly the older I get. Is that a normal thing? I don’t know, but I’m going to chalk it up to being busy instead of getting old. From traveling both domestically and internationally (Arizona, California, New York, Korea, Dubai…) to helping friends and family (and myself) usher in some new and exciting changes for 2017, I’ve felt like the chaos of 2016 required down time that was truly down time. Like, literally lots of laying down. On the couch watching movies, in savasana at yoga class, in bed for naps. Yes, NAPS! I took a few naps! As a classic A-type overachiever, it’s not always easy to give myself permission to just BE, but that’s what I’ve been challenging myself to do these past couple of months. I feel like I’ve finally reached a great work-life balance, yet I still need to fight against filling in that “life” section with even more over-achiever-y type things. I’ve had the tendency to fill my quiet free time with activity ever since I was a little kid (sorry, parents!), but as I got older the constant need to be active in one way or another became less energizing and more draining. Plus, life is an ever-changing flow of needs, wants, desires, aspirations. So what used to be fulfilling and motivating one day isn’t necessarily the same thing that will make you happy the next. And it’s different for every person, which is why the temptation to compare and compete isn’t always productive. (Thanks social media for making it even harder to resist comparison.)
I really started thinking about this again during a yoga class I had last week. The instructor started off by having us set an intention for the practice, framing it as possibly an intention that we may have set for 2017 as a whole. Which made me start thinking: what WAS my intention for 2017? And to get a little contradictory to the whole “ever-changing flow” bit, for 2017, I’d really just like to feel settled. Just for once, for a little while, I’d like to feel like I’m in a routine, that I know what I’m doing, where there are challenges but they’re somewhat predictable challenges. The 30 minute sitcom type challenges vs. the ongoing horribly stressful Breaking Bad type challenges. Over the past 5 years I’ve been pushing and pushing and stretching and trying new things and reaching and thinking so much about setting myself up for the future that I’ve never really felt like I’ve gotten to sit back and enjoy everything I’ve achieved so far. And part of that is because, like I said, ever since I was a little kid I’ve always liked being busy. I’ve more than a few times asked myself why I continually find myself diving head first into uncomfortable challenges. But this year I want to feel what it feels like to be settled. Comfortable. In a routine. Maybe this desire for chaos and challenge is what really makes me happy, but that’s something I’d like to find out through, frankly, maybe being kind of bored for a while. Right now I’m pretty sure I still have enough challenges and projects in my daily life to feel engaged and mentally stimulated, but not so many where I feel overwhelmed and like I need to work 16 hours per day. I like that. It feels nice. And just for once, I’d like to settle into something that feels nice. I want to know what it’s like to be truly present in how things are now, instead of always looking towards what they could be in the future.
So for now, for this year, I’m going to be settling. In a good way. Settling into my current workstreams. Getting comfortable in my regular workout schedule. Finding peace in the routine of cooking dinner every night. Knowing that chaos and busyness do not make me a better, more successful person (note that I even started this post by saying how busy I’ve been; an interesting read on that here from the Wash Post). Maybe I’ll get bored and feel unfulfilled, who knows. But for now I’m going to listen to that intuition that is telling me to settle. To sit still. To just be.