I know. You’re busy. I’m busy. I’m not disputing that. But I propose that the things you’re busy doing are not necessarily those things that fulfill you.
I know the feeling of wanting to collapse at the end of a long day. But I can tell you from experience that attending only to those tasks that scream your name — groceries, cooking, laundry, work — leaves you exhausted and unfulfilled.
So, what if you decide to do a little bit more? Something you WANT to do, but feel like you don’t have time for?
In the spring 2009, I was working on a software implementation project. It was the most stressful thing I’ve ever done. The hours were long, the stakes were high. I had a VERY young child at home. There were many days I came home, did as little as I could before falling asleep. But I made damn sure I planted my 800-square-foot vegetable garden. No one would have faulted me for not planting anything that year. But it wasn’t something I was willing to sacrifice.
No matter how tough things got, I could come home, hug my daughter and walk out to the garden and pick a cucumber or a head of lettuce. That meant the world to me.
Fast foward to today. I’m still working full time. I also knit, write freelance articles, blog, and volunteer at Nora’s school. I’m not telling you this as a “look how great I am” kind of thing. Sometimes it feels a bit selfish. But I know it’s necessary. If all I did was work, cook, clean and parent, I know I would slip away from myself. I’d get depressed and start looking for a way out of the grind. I might even do something stupid like blame my husband for my misery.
If you’re feeling this way, I urge you to start doing more*. More of the things you love. Take a yoga class, raise some chickens, go wine tasting, volunteer. You may find you end up with more energy, not less.