Another year has gone by. It seems, in the blink of an eye. This isn’t supposed to be a poem, yet it’s started out rhyming. I’m finding that probably more amusing than I should because I’m tired. This first week back to work so far after have time off between Christmas and New Years has been brutal (and it’s only day 2!). I normally end up working in between Christmas and New Year – not only because usually by the end of the year I’ve taken up all my vacation time, but also because it’s quiet anyway and my husband also normally works during that time too (outside the house that is), so, why not.
But this year was different. For the first time in a long time (maybe the first time in the past 15 years), I’ve had vacation time left that I needed to use up by the end of the year. So I thought why not?
And I had no plans. Nothing. I’d hoped to maybe do some work from one of my side hustles, editing some articles/scripts for the mental health and psychology YouTube channel Psych2Go, but it was all quiet on that front too…I didn’t have any projects coming my way.
And my husband worked those handful of days, as usual, so I had the house to myself. Peace and quiet. And it was strange. Odd. To not have really any sort of to-do list.
It was helped by inclement weather, too. Quite cold and we were just getting over our version of a Snowpocalypse here in the Pacific Northwest where we don’t often get much snow but every few years or so we get a big dump. This was one of those years.
I’m one of those people who always seems to be busy. I have a day job, and also a few side hustles (I’m a moderator for a large meditation Facebook group, for the Calm meditation app, and as I mentioned, I’m an editor for Psych2Go. Plus, obviously, I write, as I’m doing so on here. So that’s a side hustle too, I guess).
And I run quite a few other different Facebook groups: a yoga one (for Yoga with Adriene fans), a writing one, for Medium and Vocal writers, an uplifting one for people who want to share just one small thing that keeps them going, and recently a mental health one.
People always wonder how I have the time/energy to do it all. Maybe (probably a large chunk of it actually) is because I don’t have kids. That give people time. I just have a dog and a husband – though those things require time and energy too, not as much as having and raising kids (I’m assuming).
But what I realized after having this sort of forced slow-down with absolutely nothing needing doing, that, even if I have time, it doesn’t mean I always have to be busy busy busy like an Energizer bunny. I can just BE. I don’t have to DO.
And despite all my years of mindfulness and meditation practice, just BE-ing is a struggle for me. I like to DO. I like to be busy and productive and …I don’t know…does it make me feel accomplished? Maybe that’s part of it. But I’m also doing things I enjoy, so it doesn’t always feel like work (though sometimes it does).
But I’ve realized, as this new year begins, a sort of shift in my mindset – and as the mug my husband got me for Christmas says: Mindset is everything.
That shift being – I need to recognize the importance of rest. Of pause. Of realizing that just because I enjoy the work I’m doing in my side hustles, it’s still work and still can be draining and tiring. So I need to recognize and honour that. And that’s what that break over the holidays has helped me realize – when I had nothing else to do but…well, nothing much at all, really.
So that’s my big breakthrough realization from 2022 which was busy and hectic with all my side hustles on top of my full-time day job – which came right at the very tail end of the year!
I’m trying not to have any ‘resolutions’ this year – but more ‘intentions’. Intentions seem…gentler, more forgiving, more allowing. So that’s my intention. Take more breaks. Be less busy.