(a few of the things filling my life this past month)
I know what it looks like. It looks like I’ve neglected writing in this space for quite some time (almost a month…how can that be?!), just as I’ve done in years past with previous blogs. The one difference this time, though, is that I’m not neglecting writing. In fact, I may be writing more now than I ever have previously. You just don’t see it here…yet.
Right now, there are eight saved drafts in my queue all lined up and ready to post. They are nearly finished, but I’m not comfortable posting them quite yet. They look good, but they’re not perfect. They’re not what I want to share with the world. I promise you that when they’re ready, you’ll see them.
One of Sam’s biggest pet peeves is when people complain about not having enough time. As someone who’s always felt like I’ve never had enough time, I used to take offense to this statement. I shrugged it off as Sam not being ambitious enough, or involved enough, or motivated enough to feel the pressure of needing more time. How could he possibly understand when he didn’t have a gazillion extracurricular activities occupying all his minutes like I did?
The reason my perspective was so flawed back then is because my husband works harder than anyone I know. I knew it back then, when he rolled his eyes every time I said I didn’t have enough time, and I know it more than ever these days. He’s incredibly dedicated to his career, and he’s been a better employee at all his jobs than I’ve ever been at any of mine. And, yet, he never complains about not having enough time like I do.
“There’s always enough time,” he says. “It’s about prioritizing what’s important. You have the time to do what you want: you actively choose not to do certain things because you’re doing others. Having the time isn’t the problem, prioritizing what matters is the problem.”
(Did I mention my husband is also smarter and more observant than I am? Because he totally is.)
Since moving to Chicago, I have yet to volunteer, join a club, or do essentially any of the “experience-building-network-things” I buried myself under in Traverse City. This is, honestly, a huge surprise to me. I thought I’d be bustling around, making connections, going a billion places, carrying the torch of my previous life here in the city.
Instead, I’ve turned inwards. I ask myself what I want to do, and then I do that. Last night, for instance, I wanted to make a planter for my new plants so I stayed after work and played in the shop. This past weekend, I could’ve scheduled some blog entries but instead I made dozens of cookies and homemade breakfast pizza. I jump into bed at 9 pm on Friday nights so we can crank out 15-18 mile runs at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning. These are the things that I’m prioritizing right now, and I’m enjoying them so much more because I’m focusing my efforts instead of spreading myself too thin.
I’m working on embracing a quote I heard a few years ago:
You can do anything, but not everything.
Until moving to Chicago, I didn’t realize how much I needed those words in my life. I should’ve known Sam was right all along (he usually is), but I’m stubborn and need to figure it out for myself sometimes. Through a series of lazy evenings, self-reflection, and learning that I really can read a book before falling asleep, I’ve found that my mental health has positively flourished since arriving here.
There are all sorts of new stressors in our lives these days that keep us from fully settling. Moving into our new apartment (which we love!) has made a big difference in adjusting to this city, but we’ve barely been in this apartment for three weeks. Plus, we spent the last five days up in the suburbs dog-sitting for my cousin’s family. Oh, and I went to the emergency room for the first time in my life. It’s a miracle we’ve managed to unpack most of our belongings at this point, let alone sit down and finalize a blog post.
So, this post is not an excuse. It’s recognition that I’ve prioritized other things in my life instead of spending every night clicking away on a computer or trying to find the right words that will make people read my blog. Instead, I am watching Mad Men or reading a book or cooking something new or heading out with friends or enjoying these last beautiful days of summer walking the city streets or dreaming travel plans with Sam or writing things out by hand because I miss paper or simply sitting outside and watching the world around me. Somehow, right now, these are the things that matter to me. These are the things I want to fill my time, because they fill my heart.
My goal is to be back here, fresh, after Labor Day weekend. I have so many exciting, wonderful, and also terrifying adventures to share from these past few weeks. I want to make sure I’m ready to do them justice before putting them here.
Get ready. They’re coming.