I have collected and carry with me a number of sayings. Mantras, if you will that I often turn to in times when I’m in need of grounding, or a reminder about how to live life properly.
Now is one of those times and the phrase today is “It can be whatever you want. You just have to know what that is.”
I’ve spent the last four days solid immersed in doing what everyone else around me wanted, expected, and demanded. I’ve had almost zero time to myself and as an introvert, I know that continuing on in that way spells disaster.
The next few days seem pretty booked up already too and sometimes when there’s this much going on, and I have a spare moment to come up for air and do something else, something that is just for me, I struggle. Because it’s tough to pull your brain away from the endless sea of to-dos and switch gears to something else.
It can get bad in that in that spare moment. It should be glorious and filled from one side to the other with me spending time on what I really want to do. Instead I get paralysis from over analysis. I end up waffling and wasting time worrying that I’ll choose the wrong thing to do next. Then I’ve really done a number on myself because I’ve done the exact opposite of what I want.
It can be whatever you want. You just have to know what that is.
About 45 minutes ago I returned home with my daughter with Qdoba for her and I and my son and we sat in our broken kitchen and enjoyed some tacos, chips, and queso together. I knew when we were done, we would all part ways and that would be my first break in four days to do whatever I want… for about an hour. But what did I want to do with my time?
One damn grand hour. What indeed!
Then it started. I began to waffle.
It’s the third day of the year and I haven’t written out my final reflections on 2021 or declared any resolutions for 2022. I should do that.
I haven’t exercised at all today. I should do that.
I have a new idea in my head for a project I’d like to dive into. I should do some research about that.
I haven’t scooped the kitty litter in a while. I should definitely NOT under any circumstances do that.
I haven’t had a real conversation with my husband in three days that’s not about our broken dishwasher, clogged sink, or disposal that is probably toast. I should hang out with him.
I habitually consult my email as if I’m inviting the Universe to make my decision for me. There’s no new mail (thank the Stars).
The kids finish eating and depart just as predicted and so I leave the kitchen as well. I wander toward my bedroom and have a disagreement with myself along the way. Do I change out of my day clothes into pajamas and head upstairs to write or should I change into something to get treadmill time? I do neither. It’s the paralysis thing rearing its ugly head.
Instead of going to my closet, I detour to the stairs and visit the room where my husband is settling in to read. Maybe I should read. That’s a novel idea too. Pun intended!
As soon as I sit down in a chair adjacent to his and begin to get cozy with a blanket, I get this creeping feeling that I’ve chosen wrong. It takes me a minute, but I have to trust this instinct.
I get up to leave and explain that I need to do something else. We agree to wrap whatever it is we’re doing at 9pm to meet again, elsewhere. I head back down to our bedroom. By now, I’ve waffled for nearly 20 minutes. What a waste!!
I change into something that I can walk in and also later peel off pants and sleep in. Waaaaa-la! I make my way to the treadmill in the basement and here I am!!
It’s sometimes way harder than it should be to figure out what you want and want you need and that’s why I have those little mantras.
Tomorrow my husband goes back to work. The day after that my son goes back to school. I’ll then have more time for that reflection I’m craving and documenting that list of resolutions grinding around in my head.
I am capable of looking on the bright side. In this case, no official resolutions equals no official acknowledgment of failure, self-loathing, or accountability for lack of progress. Three happy New Years cheers to that!!
Just then one of my four cats, Gus Gus, eyes the treadmill as if he’s thinking of stepping on while the belt is moving. I immediately hit the stop button.
I sit down and he climbs on and I pet him for about 5 minutes before finishing this post.
And that’s it. That’s exactly how it all went down. Hopefully next time, I’ll figure out what I want a little sooner.