On smelling the roses…..

I have to schedule my own down time. I never just take it. I have to plan for doing nothing. My life is an endless stream of schedules. Many people could tell you that the following statement is true: I live my life in 15-minute increments. I’ve been like that for the last 7 years (or longer). I think I just like to know what’s going on all the time. Which makes it hard to be spontaneous or to have “me time.”

In fact, I currently have “do nothing weekends” scheduled every three weeks on my calendar. It doesn’t always work out that way, but at least they’re scheduled. At least I know I SHOULD take time for myself.

I’m not sure when the last time was that I just slowed down and did nothing. Or at least, slowed down enough to enjoy what I was doing. I’m always racing from one event/activity/commitment to the next. I very much enjoy DOING things. I love being involved and feeling like I’m contributing in some capacity or another. I suppose that at some point, however, I need to contribute to my own well-being.

I get manicures every other week. I used to say that it was “me time,” but the truth is that lately, I find myself looking at the clock while I’m there, thinking “I have to be home by 6:45pm so that I have enough time tonight to get everything done.” There’s something inherently wrong with wanting to rush through a manicure. In 318 days, I’m going to treat myself to a spa day and not rush through it…for the first time in 11 years.

I so often rush through things that I claim to enjoy. But why rush if the point is to enjoy? I rush through dinners, which is being comprehension given how much I love food. I rush through books, never really taking the time to get involved. I rush and rush and rush. And for what purpose? Because I’ve been doing it for what seems like my entire life? That doesn’t sound like a good enough reason.

I’m a chronic planner.

I love surprises, but I don’t like being thrown for a loop. So yeah, if you asked me what my finances will look like in October 2011, I could tell you. No seriously. I could.

I like feeling prepared. Maybe that stems from being laid off of one job and quitting another. Or from having a roommate totally bail on me. If I hadn’t been prepared for a windfall, it could have gotten really bad, really ugly, really fast. But I was prepared. So my life continued on its typical course and there I went.

But is being prepared what might be trapping me in this life of rush rush rush, go go go?

Slowing down and taking time for oneself is something I’ve preached for many years of my life. I do think it’s important. I think that, amidst all the drama and craziness life often throws our way, sometimes the best thing to do is just….stop.

Putting that into practice, however, is a totally different story.

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