One thing that being pressured for time does is force you to focus. I gave whatever I was doing - turnover work briefs, edits, making presentations for the literature class I am teaching - my complete attention. The down side is that some of the other things I love to do - blogging, reading, long walks with the dog, writing - didn't get done. I had small chunks of time- long enough to update Facebook, or comment on Twitter, and about 24 minutes a day (the 12 min drive to and from the office) to think. It was in these 24 minutes that I came to a realization:
So many of the things I do - you too probably - I do because they have become part of my routine. What I found was that some of the things I temporarily gave up were not things I missed. In addition, during the activities I did make time for, I became hyper-aware of how much pleasure they gave me. Or didn't give me.
This gift of clarity is not without complications. One of the things in particular grieves me when I consider not doing it, and I need to figure out whether it is something that the joy can be salvaged from, or whether I am in mourning for what was once wonderful and now need to accept that it/I has/have changed and move on.
One thing that I really enjoyed during this brief but insane period was the connection Facebook provided. I didn't have time for long phonecalls with friends or drinks out with the girls, but through social media I was able to feel like I was still part of the human race. I knew what was going on, even if I couldn't participate. And I love how easy that is. Facebook as a communications tool is fantastic. Through it I keep in touch with family in the UK, friends around the world, navy pals across Canada, and - even though I never expected this - it's even super helpful for local friends. I can't tell you how many play dates, get togethers, and invitations I have given/received through this medium.
There is always a dark side though. Communication can get twisted and assumptions made. I found that out this past week and without going into details, may I just remind everyone that Facebook messaging is not the place to air a grievance. Also that psychological warfare doesn't work on me.
Two weeks ago I woke up with a terrible neck pain. Too many hours at a computer, no doubt, coupled with the stress of doing too many things. It has only just healed - two weeks of carefully watching my posture, sleeping so my spine is straight (as opposed to the little ball I normally curl into), and gentle stretches. It made me very much aware of how valuable health is. We take it for granted, but during my two weeks of agony all my activities were marred by the pain, and I was even crankier and more cynical than usual (those of you who knew me in my Deximenes days will not be surprised; everyone else - to whom I am no doubt sweetness and light embodied - just needs to take my word for it)!
I love winter and we've had a fabulous one on the slopes or snowshoing through the forest. But spring is around the corner.
Don't believe me?
See for yourself: