Recently it feels as if my mind is everywhere. Flitting from one project to another. Planning, dreaming, working, rushing around at 100 miles an hour. And of course, inevitably, I feel as though I’m spread too thinly over all of the projects I’ve got on the go. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve lost focus. And losing focus means losing inspiration.
My brain likes to be busy. Left to its’ own devices, too much down time results in lethargy, low mood, and the inevitable consumption of bags of haribo and pints of real ale. So I keep moving, keep busy, keep immersed and interested. But recently I’ve found myself saying yes to everything. And I mean everything! Extra hours, new classes, new clients, day trips, excursions, meetings, coffees, more exercise, more projects, more and more. A revitalised zest for life, a longing to be involved, to do more, to achieve more, to explore, to follow curiosity, to learn and build on foundations I’ve spent the last year putting in place.
I recently read a wonderful post on Brooke McAlary’s SlowYourHome blog called “Don’t be impresed with busy-ness. Be impressed with intention”. Brooke talks about the fact that we’re so focused on busy-ness that it can detract from our quality of life, leaving us over-tired and over-committed. It really struck a chord with me-I thought about her words for hours afterwards, and am still mulling it over in my head. She’s right, of course.
Having spent the last year getting involved and pushing myself to say yes to things that scare me, climbing out of a grey period of inactivity and lethargy, realising that my situation now is everything I ever dreamt of… I felt that to continue to grow, I should be agreeing to more. And I admit, I’ve even caught myself lamenting the lack of free time, expecting, well, I don’t really know what I was expecting. Sympathy? Congratulations?
I’ve loved saying yes more. Even though it’s been pretty hard sometimes, I’ve had some great times and unforgettable experiences. It’s led to opportunity and so much fun. But by saying yes to everything… I’ve neglected things that don’t tend to have an immediate deadline. Things that are just as important to me, but somehow seem to have been overtaken by more pressing matters. Things like writing, like reading, like creating for the sake of creating.
I’ve slowed my life right down from the stressful life of just a few years ago (although it seems like a different lifetime now). But I need to make sure I keep on top of my projects. I need to give myself the space to keep that spark of inspiration that drives me. I don’t want to lose my curiosity or my passion and yes, I admit, I’ve felt that slipping away the last few weeks of hectic to-and-fro-ing. I know that I like to please, that sometimes I get carried away and end up biting off more than I can chew. Sometimes it’s exhilarating. Sometimes I love the pressure. But I must remember to balance that pressure with the freedom that I fought so long for.
So, inspired by Brooke’s post, I’m going to learn to weigh up my answers before agreeing to everything. To take on new projects only if I feel I can give them the attention they deserve. And to continue enjoying the satisfaction and joy that comes from immersing myself headfirst, 100%, into things that I love.