We will always be busy. There were always be things we must see to and chores that need taking care of. That's life. However, we must work to live, not live to work. We must pay attention to our bodies and emotional states, too.
Friday night was one of those nights that always come at the beginning of September in Maine, a blessed reprieve from the hot and humid days with just a hint of the coming fall. The air was cool, crisp and fresh. The sun started its descent into slumber hours earlier than it had all summer long, its golden hue highlighting the coming darkness in streaks of deep blues and purples across the sky. A steady breeze that was cool on my skin, worked to clean the cobwebs from my mind. I couldn't stop myself from taking deep lung fulls of air, feeling my soul sigh every time.
After a delicious seafood dinner out at a local restaurant I got into the car and immediately opened the sunroof and put down my window. I couldn't get enough of the promise of fall, I couldn't get enough of the air that felt so light compared to hot and heaviness of the humidity we have in the summer. As we pulled out and started driving home, I laid my head in the crook of the seat belt and closed my eyes, letting the rushing wind surround my entire being. It was in this moment that I could feel something inside me loosen and start to release.
I felt as if I were flying through the night air and weaving in and out of the stars that were just starting to twinkle. In the rush of the wind around me and the freshness of the air flowing inside my lungs I realized with sudden clarity how tense I had been. How weighted down and exhausted I had allowed myself to become. Over the course of the past few months I lost touch with myself because I have been focusing on everything and everyone else. Life had become a whirlwind as of late and I allowed myself, without even realizing, to get caught up in it. Lost my balance I did and until that very moment traveling home with a full belly, I hadn't even realized it.
How easy it is to lose ourselves in the mundane. How smoothly we drop everything we require for self-care in order to care for those around us, chores that pile up and the day-today minutia that is our lives. I knew I felt a tightening in my chest the past few months and my patience seemed to have taken a vacation. I knew I awoke each morning still tired and that every time I thought of what I needed to do and get taken care of, I would become so overwhelmed I wouldn't even know where to start. I also know that I ignored all the signs that something was wrong. I didn't have time for it. I couldn't think about it. Because, to think about it was to make it real and I surely didn't have the energy or brainpower for that.
I start my days at 5 a.m. and normally don't quit until 11 o'clock at night. Every hour is filled with something and lately it seems that I blink and a month goes by. I hate losing track of life. But, when things cycle at such a rapid pace it is so easy to do. Especially when you allow yourself to become almost robotic in seeing to everything you must accomplish and take care of. In essence, we remove the humanness of ourselves and any emotional attachment and focus more on the end result of crossing things off our to do list.
We need to realize the fate of the world does not in fact rest on us completing that list.
We will always be busy. There were always be things we must see to and chores that need taking care of. That's life. However, we must work to live, not live to work. We must pay attention to our bodies and emotional states, too. If you are going about your life at warp speed, eating on the fly, not taking care of yourself and never catching your breath or resting and refueling your mind and soul, you will run yourself into the ground.
We must learn, myself included, to schedule time for ourselves. To just simply be. To focus our minds inside of our own souls, to listen to our heartbeat and clear our minds. We must ground ourselves and spend time identifying things we can let go of. We must look for things we really do not need in our life and let them go. We must organize not only our kitchens but our minds. We must simplify life as much as we can. We only get one life and if we are so busy doing, working, cleaning and chasing after that never-ending "To Do" List, we will waste it completely.
So, now that I realize instead of forward motion these past few months, life has been going more in circles, I will make a conscious effort to find ways to ground myself. I will remember to take care of me. I will write; "take time to stop and smell the coffee" on my "To Do" List and will make sure that gets crossed off every single day. I will look for ways to simplify my life and see what I can get rid of to make that happen. I will remember to breathe. Deep cleansing breaths multiple times a day to release any built up stress. I will remind myself the power of saying No! and to hold others accountable for things they should be doing. I will write. I must write. I will plan some downtime to explore and schedule massages at least once a month.
I will add "Live your life!!" to my "To Do" List and let it serve as a reminder. We only get one shot at this. I don't want to arrive at the end of my days and look back with regret. I want to look back and see how hard I worked, how hard I loved and how far I had come to get to that moment. I want to see a life lived to the fullest. Brimming with memories and moments that made it truly worth living.
What do you want to look back and see?
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