A couple weeks ago, I made a huge decision. I decided to slow down on my graduate work and take one class at a time instead of two. For some people, looking at my very full life, this would be simply the logical choice. In fact, many people would have stayed at one class at a time from the very beginning. But for me, it took a year of high stress and more than a few panic attacks for me to realize that putting that much on myself was not only unnecessary, it was unkind.
When I tell people about all the things I have going on in my life, people usually respond with raised eyebrows and a look generally reserved for people who are insane and don't know it. The comment "I don't know how you do it" comes up a lot. I used to think that was a complement. Now, I'm starting to hear something else hidden inside that comment. Concern, and a touch of "Why are you doing that to yourself?"
I have always had many pots on the fire. A million things going on. Staying busy. If I am sitting down, I am doing something. If I am watching television, I am also reading or writing or editing photos or something. Something to keep me fully occupied. I don't like taking baths because sitting that long with nothing to do makes me twitchy. I often have more than one job and multiple projects going. The idea of NOT doing things makes me feel like I am slacking, and someone is going to come along and tell me I'm not doing my job. Which begs the question, what is my job?
To always be doing things? To prove I am earning my spot on this earth?
To prove I should be here? To prove I am not wasting my existence?
Is it even possible to waste your existence?
If I don't keep myself busy doing all the things, am I wasting my life? Wasting time?
Will I regret it when I am old, that I didn't use my time here to achieve all the things?
Or will I regret that I didn't take the walks and play the games and enjoy the moments?
I am learning this year to take up more space, to allow for space, to allow for integration, to allow for quiet moments of openness. To catch my breath. To not rush off to the next thing. To sink into the conversation with a friend. To make phone calls and to write honest letters. To notice my loved ones. To feel my life. And to allow for my needs to be spoken and seen.
Slowing down and sitting still is scary for me. But my job isn't to prove my worth through busyness and accomplishments. God isn't requiring me to pay rent. But I would be missing the point if I miss my life because I am too busy to notice it. Those moments of quiet that I avoid are guideposts. It is in those moments that wisdom and insight pop up. It's so much easier to not allow for those insights, because sometimes they are very uncomfortable. But they are what inspire growth, and they are the signs leading to the next right step. Stopping to listen to my inner voice, and allow for my truth to come up, is what leads to a more authentic life. I can't live the life that is meant for me if I never stop to actually live it.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. Look around and make yourself comfortable, because this is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty and authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.