The other day, I was telling Eric how now that I was unstuck, I was having a hard time stopping, a hard time going to work because the work I was doing for myself was so compelling and fun, and he told me “You should pace yourself.”
Turns out, he’s right. I have been trying the past few weeks to do ALL the things, and I am starting to feel a bit tired, run down. I am not being kind to myself. I am pushing, demanding, doing too much.
If I am honest, this is a pattern, a habit of mine. I have a form of artistic manic-depression. I have two speeds: off and bullet train. I am either stuck, frozen, numb, asleep, or moving at the speed of light, “I’ll sleep when I am dead,” on fire, can’t stop.
I am thinking about this specifically today as I watch myself being greedy and grasping, and not listening to what I really need right now. Having discovered Danielle Ate the Sandwich and being utterly and newly in love with her, I want to go see her perform. Not just that, but I want to go to every show she has in Colorado. She has three coming up: one tonight in Denver, one in a few weeks in Boulder, and another in Fort Collins. And the whole reason I found out about her is I told a friend that I wanted to finally learn to play the ukelele I’ve had for almost four years now, and he’d sent me a link to a site with tutorials and told me about Danielle. So now, not only do I want to teach myself to play, I want to write and sing songs, make an album, and go on tour with Danielle.
But I am feeling weak and run down today, and Eric is running a half-marathon tomorrow morning, so going to a show more than an hour away that will run late when what we really should do is stay home, be together and rest is just silly.
There are other examples. It’s not enough for me to have a yoga practice. I need to buy a month of unlimited classes at a new studio and try to go to as many as I can, sign up for a nine week “Yoga Immersion” class over the summer, go to 5-7 classes a week, plan to get certified to teach yoga, plan write a grant and teach yoga at the local battered women’s shelter, go on retreats. This is not at all what yoga is about, this gluttony, and I know this.
I subscribe to five weekly newsletters that each send me daily challenges, meditations, things to consider. I sign up for three amazing classes, but I sign up in a way that for a few weeks at least, they will overlap and I will be in THREE classes simultaneously, while maintaining a full-time job, a marriage, two needy dogs, a yoga and meditation practice, etc. And that’s not enough, I’ll get certified as a meditation instructor, and put together yoga/meditation/writing workshops or retreats, I’ll get a Holistic Health Coach, no I’ll become one, and then I’ll get certified as a Life Coach…ugh. I make myself tired just thinking about all the things I want. When I wake up like this, find myself breathing again, I panic because I feel like I have already wasted so much time and I don’t know how much I have left. I have so much to do…
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I shouldn’t dream so big. Obviously, I believe in that. Dreaming and wishing and opening myself up to new possibilities and different options is propelling me after years of being stuck. What I am saying is that I need to “pace myself.”
So, instead of going to see Danielle play tonight, I’ll stay home and rest. I’ll listen to her music all day, but from a cd rather than live. I’ll slow down. I’ll notice how the knob on the drawer in my bathroom reflects the light like a rainbow comet trail. I’ll sit in the sun in the backyard with all three of my boys. I’ll take a nap. I’ll read. I’ll catch up on my Mondo Beyondo assignments, maybe even grade a few papers for work–but only if I feel like it, if it feels right. Later, I’ll go take a yoga class with Sarada if I feel up to it. I’ll go to bed early. I will open my heart and be kind, listen to what it is I need and do that for myself.
I’ll pace myself.
- How can you be gentle with yourself today?