Shhhh. Do you hear that? Yep. NOTHING!
Today I found myself leaving clinical early – on a Monday, with sunshine and 70-degree weather waiting for me! OMG! What do I do with myself!?
Well, I could:
- finnish that process recordingS (GSSWers you know what I mean!)
- update my resume
- reply to that job posting
- mail the Comcast bill
- start reading for CBT
- finish edits for the paper due Wednesday night
But then I stopped myself. How often does this happen!? I find myself with “free” time and fill it with about a bazillion “to do’s.” Really!? Geeze Erin! I know I’m not the only one who does this. I race from one task to another everyday with the feeling that if I’m sitting still and doing NOTHING, then I’m WASTING time.
Then Lent came along. Every year I give up the same thing – coke (or soda/pop depending on where you are from). After 5 years, I really don’t drink coke – like ever. So as this season neared I thought, “Let me really try to figure out what I could sacrifice.” I mean that is the point right? We take the time to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and strength in the face of temptation. So what do I put a premium price on?
Reminder via Fit and Fab For Life.
I think we all put a premium price on time. And at what expense? MOST (I won’t speak for the few who seem to lull through life.) of us run around from one task, event, meeting, dinner, gym visit, etc. until we find ourselves thinking…… “what I wouldn’t give for a moment of peace.”
So that is what I sacrificed. Time. I am taking 15 minutes each day to do …. NOTHING. Literally, I sit in my room and just let it be. Have you ever tried to do that? This exercise in mindfulness is not so easy. Geeze the first time I did this my mind went nuts! It took a lot of willpower to a) sit still, b) NOT run through my self-sabotaging thoughts (like, “this is a waste Erin!” and “ugh I could use this 15 minutes to write another paper” – side note: not I could not!), and c) let my mind wander……. It was HARD! And I did feel very guilty! Ugh! Ewww!
Yesterday I used my 15 minutes to start reading my newest Real Simple magazine (LOVE THEM!). Low and behold, they have a WHOLE SECTION on time – work balance, time-wasters, and where we are really using our time. I found it so refreshing! The truth is that running around trying to cram everything into your day has scientific evidence that it is BAD for your mood AND health. No seriously! Your cortisol levels start high and can drop throughout your day. HOWEVER, higher cortisol levels at the end of your day are linked to a host of negative consequences – burnout and depression being two big ones – impacts on your weight, blood pressure, and immune system are other reasons to take steps to relax! And women in the survey stated that housework (cleaning and the like) tasks are the BIGGEST time suckers – yet 45% of the women who thought their spouses had the same standard of “clean” – didn’t trust them to do the job!!!!! Oh goodness! Time is at a premium, and we just shoot ourselves in the foot!? And we wonder why we feel like Atlas’ sister who never got recognition for holding up universe – let alone the world. When are we going to stop sacrificing well-being and start sacrificing our time. The article is really interesting and a must read for any woman. You can read bits online or grab the April issue on newsstands.
So for Lent, I’m learning to let go of my time – aka crazy life. I’m embracing silence and peace. I’m thinking this might be something I’m willing to sacrifice for a loooooong time.