Overbooking = Underliving
Yesterday I was so busy I was gonna cry.
My schedule legit looked like this:
9 a.m.-Call with PR chick 10 a.m.-Salon appointment with Bella 12:30 p.m.-Spanish class
3 p.m.-Meeting with M about writing project 5 p.m.-Pick up Olive from ballet 7 p.m.-Dinner in city with Izzy
Keep in mind, I didn’t factor in any travel or personal time with my family, including my mom who’s visiting from Texas. Basically, I was f*cked. My 10 a.m. quickly became a 10:30 a.m., and I was a stressed-out fool. As I was simultaneously getting a blowout and a manicure and replying to emails on my phone, the hairstylist laughed and commented “You’re a busy lady.” I smiled sheepishly, and kinda felt proud of my packed schedule. I’m a mover and a shaker! Then my manicurist—whom I’ve known for 14 years—replied in a thick Russian accent, “She make herself busy.”
Uggh. She was right. I do make myself busy. Mainly because I have a lot of passions and much less time now that I have two kids under five. But also, because “busy” is a long-held habit. And one that doesn’t really serve me anymore.
You see I just left an big job where I was “la jefa” the head boss in charge, but I was also “la loca” crazed with overwhelm. The problem with over-busy is that it not only robs you of your energy, it kidnaps your creativity and connection to yourself.
Inspiration, insights, revelations, and hard truths can’t come up if we don’t give them the space. We also need space to recognize beauty and feel joy. Just like we can’t fully appreciate a beautiful vase on a crowded table, it’s hard to savor experiences when they’re crammed next to each other.
Any one of my to-do list items could be awesome in their own right. Getting a manicure should be a pocket of pampering; dinner with an old friend should be a treasure; speaking another language should be a delight. Instead as tasks on a long to-do list, they all became burdensome.
Luckily my no-filter manicurist snapped me out of my bus-ery (busy-induced misery.) I cut one scheduled salon service, canceled Spanish class and rescheduled with my writing partner.
I went home and had lunch with my mama and toddler and afterward we painted pinecones. I made it to dinner in the city with a dear friend visiting from Cali for the weekend. Those choices felt right. If I was on deadline, I would have had to choose differently, and that would have been awesome, too. Growing up, I had to help my mom take care of my little sisters and tend to our house after my father passed away, and I didn’t always have a lot of free time to play and explore. I’ve realized now that I’m older, that I almost instinctively say yes to things, because as a young girl I didn’t always have those opportunities. But too much can be the same as not enough if you still end up feeling out of sorts.
So my gift/challenge to you is to cancel one thing this week. Whether you skip yoga to sleep in late, bypass brunch for a good book on the couch, or put down your work (and social media) to go see the movie you’ve been meaning to for weeks. Take the space for beauty. Take the time for you.