As we start a new calendar year, one thing that I have been reflecting on recently is the difference between living busy and living balanced. Track with me.
Being busy and having a full calendar is such a real-life situation for me and has been for like, eternity. But here is the thing. I have always thought of myself as the easy, go with the flow kind of girl! In my head, I am the queen of chill. But those who know me know that, that’s a lie. The easy-going mentality really just stems from my incredible superpower to be extremely indecisive about all the things past 4:00pm, every single day. Fortunately, that is a blog for another time. Regardless of how many occasions I talk myself into being copesetic and easy going, I am always the one making the plans, asking about the plans, trying to find a definitive plan for the plan…well you get the picture. I am finally facing the music and realizing that I am one of thooose girls. The woman who plans out every moment of every day and for the life of her has zero chill.
For me having a plan means that there is no time wasted and I am in charge of my day. No dead air, and no time to kill. I am not one who is good at “resting” as most people would like to call it. There are about 15 things that I am juggling in life at all times. For example, my normal week the past semester has looked pretty crammed, even to me. Working two jobs, an attempted workout, meal prepping, grocery shopping, church, bible study, and friendships are all a part of the normal weekly lineup. I have also found that in order to stay intentional with the people in my life and accomplish the things that I need to do, it definitely takes some planning. This includes most of my week being booked on my calendar far in advance and my loved ones know that about me (and that I am working on it).
While I love staying busy and having a full week, sometimes it can be really exhausting. And although it has taken me a while to figure it out, in the last few weeks I have learned how to see things from a different perspective. I’ve realized that although planning is great and being busy can be wonderful, it definitely isn’t everything because it leaves little to no room for rest. The availability for “letting things happen” is slim.
Letting things happen includes the time and ability for things to just fall into your lap. For me, sometimes this looks like doing a bible study on the couch with coffee from a real mug and journaling. (If you read my bio you know how much I love to write by hand!) Sometimes this looks like staying in my bed until noon because I can, and reminding Netflix that asking me whether or not I want to watch another episode is insulting. Then at times it’s going for a walk around the lake and jamming out to the musical feels of the moment because that is one of the times that I am the happiest. It also looks like spontaneous adventures. Because as a structure craving planner, I definitely don’t have much of that in my world.
What I have come to realize is that rest includes the things that make you happy, while also still giving you time to regroup. It can leave room for a creative outlet or it can be a time where you turn off your brain for a while. Rest and unplanned time; it leaves room for breathing. Inhaling and exhaling and just…being. Maybe collecting your thoughts along the way and doing a quick heart check on how you feel. Are you tired? Do you need a mental break? What is bothering you recently? What is making you happy?
I have started to listen to that inner voice a little bit more recently. With some help from wonderful family and friends who speak truth into my life and my Savior who is gracious in repeatedly reminding me that I do not have to have everything planned out; I am slowly learning that rest is actually necessary and good. Now don’t get me wrong. I am still one of the busiest people that I know. But instead of ignoring it and saying “YOLO” while moving on to the next thing, I am learning to listen to myself and take notes about when I need rest. Do I always listen? No, but I am finding it easier to take time for myself when I used to look at that as time wasted. #progress!
I am not sure who is reading this, whatever walk of life you are coming from, or where you fall on the wonderfully whimsical to perfect planner scale; but there is something that I know for sure. Regardless of where you stand, I am sure you could use some rest. Some blocked out time, where you can just breathe. My hope for you is that you can carve out that time soon. To not plan anything, whether it’s for a couple of hours or even a whole day to be free! Take time to do that heart check and gage where your fuel tank marker is. Whether you make an executive decision to drop everything right now and rest, or if you are like me and need to write it in your planner, take a breather. Non-professional doctor’s orders. 😉 You won’t regret it.