Someday Never Comes
I was on the phone with my coach this week (yep, coaches have coaches too!), and as is so often the case, I heard myself repeat the phrase “I just have a LOT going on.” This is my own personal evolution of what I used to say “I’m just SO busy,” because at some point I decided that I was holding my busy-ness up like a badge of honor, and I didn’t want to do that anymore. Hence, I just have a LOT going on. All the time.
This is the story I tell myself about my life. And maybe some of you out there would be inclined to agree with me. I’m two months into a move to a new city. I’m building a business (and sustaining a second one). I’m planning a wedding. I’m traveling most weekends out of the year. I’m leasing a new car (which I am picking up tonight yayyyy!). I’m exploring 500 hour teacher trainings, exploring yoga studios across the Boston area, and joining an a cappella holiday group. I’m starting physical therapy for my injuries (lots more yays!).
Yes, I have a lot going on. But I don’t write this list to brag. Here’s what I don’t have going on: a new baby. A situation where I don’t know where my next month’s rent is coming from. A very real possibility that tomorrow I might be without food, shelter, or clothing. The list goes on.
When I consider my schedule/calendar/life, I get this nagging sense that there isn’t enough time for everything. It’s a bubbling panic underneath my veneer of efficiency and productivity. Sometimes I’ll be at my computer and truly not know what I’ve accomplished in the last hour, like I wasn’t even there. I hate this feeling, and I resist it like hell. It’s this ticking clock that I’m running away from when I go on vacation. It’s this dread that I feel creep back in as soon as the trip is ending.
Greg (my fiancé) and I have been feeling this way a lot recently. I notice that we keep trying to put an end date on it, to determine when things will calm down and life will go back to normal. “After these next few weeks.” “After the holidays.” “After the wedding.” This is next May we are talking about! Are we never going to catch a break before then?!
Here’s the irony: there is no "normal" that we are trying to get back to. Our entire relationship was long distance up until 2 months ago. That meant that we were shuffling back and forth to see each other at least twice a month. And we always tried to cram in too much: drinks with friends, family time, a concert or a date night. Back then, it was always “things will quiet down once we’re in the same place.”
“Is it possible,” Katie gently asked, “that this IS your normal?”
Yep. Yep yep yep. This is it. Being a little overscheduled, wanting to fit in just a little more than is possible, scampering from place to friend to event. Yes, this is our normal. And the more I resist that, the crankier I get. I refuse to accept what’s real, here and now. And I think that we should be doing more on the house. We should be building our wedding website. I should be networking more, teaching more, doing more. There’s a list a mile long of things I should be doing, and could be doing with all that miraculous free time I will have. Someday.
When Greg and I do catch a break in our schedule, do you know what we’ll need to do most? Absolutely nothing. Drink coffee. Go for a walk. Play a board game. Read.
So yes, I have a lot going on. And sometimes that means feeling stressed, and that stress is a reminder that it’s okay to do less. But the flip side is that I have a lot going on because I am so excited to soak up what life has to offer. I know more awesome people than I can count, and I choose to spend time with them. I choose to build a business because I am committed to helping other cultivate a practice of living. I choose to travel because I love visiting new places, and familiar ones as well. I choose this normal, and I accept that there is some struggle involved, and that struggle is allowed.
Someday never comes. The only day that arrives is this one.