It’s Saturday. The first Saturday in many weeks when I haven’t had any schedule or commitments. It feels good, but there is a small cloud of disappointment hanging overhead that has nothing to do with the brief afternoon shower dampening the lawn. Because of the busyness of recent weeks, I have missed a chance to do something I wanted to do. Now that opportunity is gone.
I’m not sure how I got to this place where my time is not my own. But I did, and it’s (mostly) not. There are times in life when we prioritize everyone else’s needs or wants before our own needs and wants. In the end it’s not healthy.
How do I know it’s not healthy? Because it’s Saturday afternoon and the leftover wine in the fridge almost looked like a good option for lunch. Instead, I went with a salad and topped it with some previously unopened smoked sausage leftover from Christmas. That’s probably not healthy either, but it’s better than wine in the middle of the day.
I work. A lot. I even bring work home with me from time to time because my job is demanding and fast-paced. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and the ritualistic juggling act of trying to keep all the balls in the air falls apart. Other times it’s a little gratifying to pause and recognize that the effort meant something to someone else.
I also volunteer for some things and that is the really satisfying work. To make an effort for someone else is the real substance of life. So even with no kids at home anymore to drive to tennis or music lessons, life is full. Sometimes too full.We did make a choice to get a puppy several months ago, and she is simultaneously driving us crazy and keeping us sane. With two demanding jobs our schedules get a little crazy, but we HAVE TO make time for this precious little devil dog in each day. She demands it, and we need that touchpoint to connect with another being who relies on us for her very existence. She is filling our empty nest quite nicely and one thing we were glad to add to our schedules this week was the start of puppy manners classes.
Yes, it has been a busy summer, which makes it sail by in a heartbeat. Fall will be here before we know it. But for now, I will take a few moments on this slightly rainy Saturday to regroup and consider where my real priorities lie. Too busy to meet my own needs? That has to stop.
One thing that has gotten away from me entirely for many months is writing. Even creating a short blog post has felt overwhelming. It may partly be due to some mild depression I am experiencing over the state of our country, but I have not been able to write for a long time now. That’s the first thing I am reclaiming today, and there may be some other restructuring ahead. Caution: life (still) under construction.