Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s easier to keep up than catch up”?
This is something I first became aware of during my second round of study at university. I wish I’d known more about it while studying for my first qualification, but not having this understanding brought me a plethora of experience I wouldn’t otherwise have! Things like how to work under pressure, complete something as well as it’s going to be in the time I have, and that sometimes a good night’s sleep is better than meeting a certain deadline.
Since then, I’ve felt like I’ve been struggling to do enough each day to feel I’m where I’m supposed to be. It’s not a healthy mindset to have, and can inhibit actual productive choices and behaviour. Let’s take a look into how an overpacked schedule affects me, and what I can do to bring more peace into my life.
When I spend my time doing restful things I am often overcome by a feeling it is a “waste of time,” rather than time spent recharging by doing things I enjoy, to better help me focus when I’m at my day job, editing books, or recording music. Identifying this as a mindset shift I need to make has been crucial. I do not need to run at what my mind tries to tell me is “one hundred percent efficiency” in terms of moving towards achieving my goals all the time. Rest is part of a healthy life. Slowly, I am moving my sleeping schedule to a healthier time for me, and I am choosing to rest and know it is good. Even to the point that I sometimes enjoy it! Creating space for silence and time with God helps me recentre where I am. It helps me find myself if I have been losing sight in the fog.
Recently I started seeing a personal trainer to improve the way my body moves and functions during intense physical exercise. I want to play ultimate (frisbee) to a high level for at least a few more years, and this will help me have the best chance to do that. This has added an hour long event on Monday and Friday in my week, as well as time required for my body to recover. What I haven’t done is decide what things I need to remove from my life to make space. In the short term this has been ok, pushing other necessary things in my life closer together to subconsciously squeeze out things I don’t need in my life. For example, time spent on Facebook, “doomscrolling” as a friend likes to call it. Or, a big one for me, flicking through YouTube trying to find something novel. There are some fun YouTubers I follow, who also provide practical advice on how to pare down a schedule and incorporate effective rest. There are others who upload short skits which are hilarious, and I’m finding out more and more as I go through life, having a good laugh is worthwhile. There are still others which provide little to no benefit, even in terms of humour value. I can do without these in my life, to fit in more time to rest and sleep. If I want to make these training sessions a permanent fixture, I will need to reduce the amount of things in my life, for time and financial management purposes.
Having enough time for all the things we want to do, as well as maintaining healthy relationships with our friends, family, and significant others requires intentional care. I have been finding this out over recent months, realising that nurturing relationships can provide my heart with the information it needs to make wise choices. Who do I want to spend more time with? Am I providing enough space for writing and editing stories? Do I give myself permission to sit down with my guitar without the obligation to come up with something new?
The answers to these questions have changed even since the beginning of this year, and they will keep changing. Acknowledging this and working with rather than against myself is helping me find peace and hold onto it. Not to find that life is easy, but that all through struggle and hardship there is a beautiful sunrise to see from the top of the mountain.
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Where is your centre?
How do you find rest?
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Thank you for reading, and for joining me on this journey of rediscovery that is embarking on each new day.
Keep on keeping on being awesome. PEACE.