I find that the older I get the less circles I want to go in. Round-and-round we go, same ole same ole, just isn't cutting it any more. I want to truly live, truly experience and truly touch the lives of others as I do.
And I want to write about it in the process.
I was watching a television show the other night when I couldn't sleep. I had been absentmindedly flipping stations and came about a shot of a hamster running furiously in a wheel made of plastic. He was running and running and that wheel just kept spinning. After a few minutes the hamster belly flopped down exhausted, only to get back up in a few minutes and begin to run again.
All that running and getting nowhere.
I watched the cute little furball for a few moments and continued on with my channel flipping. A few stations later I paused on some movie, the scene was a group of women in a gym riding stationary bikes. Peddling furiously, sweating profusely, legs pumping those pedals like they were racing the Tour de France.
All that pedaling and getting nowhere.
I sat there wondering what random lesson life was trying to show me. First the hamster busting his furry little butt going round and round, then those women pedaling like demons on bikes that would get them nowhere. I felt like the universe was saying; "Yo, Jenn pay attention, I have something you need to realize." So, I shut the TV off and let my mind wander, hoping that it didn't go in circles like it sometimes does at two in the morning when I can't sleep.
I sat there in the darkness and cleared my mind, or tried to at least. It lasted about 23 seconds and then I was making a mental checklist of all I needed to accomplish the next day. From work stuff, to errands, to remembering the kid had a baseball game and that meant flying home to pay bills before rushing off to the field. Then moving on to the next day in my mind and the one after that, chiding myself that I should get up and write it down so as not to forget something.
Then it dawned on me. I was forgetting something. I was forgetting myself - again.
My mind flashed back to the hamster. Running furiously in a wheel that would get him nowhere. It occurred to me that while I may be accomplishing things; laundry, cleaning, working full-time and tending to my family, I was doing nothing to further what I wanted in my life. I was doing nothing to get closer to my personal goals. Like the hamster in the spinning wheel, I was running and doing and taking care of everything constantly, but going in circles in the process.
As I sat there scheduling out my week it dawned on me. At no point in my week had a set aside time to do the one thing I need to be doing, writing. I had not taken time in the past week to move myself any closer to my goal of writing full-time. My new book has been sitting patiently in its documents folder gathering dust, my blog hadn't been touched in a week and unless I wanted to be writing every night at midnight, I would get nothing accomplished going the way I had been. It made me realize how easy it is to get so caught up in the busy that is life, that we forget ourselves in the process. Writing is my life blood, it keeps me sane, it keeps me grounded and some days it’s the only outlet I have for my stress. And when I schedule myself starting at 6 am and not being done with the day til 10 pm, I have little to nothing left in me to write anything worth reading.
How often do we make ourselves so busy that we forget to actually - live? How often do you have to remind yourself to stop and just breathe for a moment, to step back and let the world spin on its own without your involvement or "doing" anything? Personally, unless I make a point to step back, breathe deeply and just be for a moment or two, it never just happens on its own. It has to be a conscious decision to say to oneself - "Self, you are going in circles, you’re tired and stressed, the world will not stop if you give yourself a break." To have this thought and actually do something about it - a feat on its own.
When is the last time you had fun? When is the last time you scheduled a mental health day simply because you needed it? Have you ever just hopped into your car and got lost on purpose? Taken a random adventure to see what you could find? We all work so hard all the time, going in circles and for what? To never take the time to actually enjoy life?
Life could end tomorrow for any one of us. I don't want to get to that point and look back and see all that I could have done had I simply taken the time. I don't want to look back and see all the missed chances to have fun, to get dirty, to explore life randomly. I want to look back on my life and be able to say - I worked hard and I played hard. I touched and helped others and I lived, really lived, life. I find that the older I get the less circles I want to go in. Round-and-round we go, same ole same ole, just isn't cutting it any more. I want to truly live, truly experience and truly touch the lives of others as I do. And I want to write about it in the process.
No more hamster wheels for this girl.
Wheels up. I'm off.
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