Yesterday was a busy day.
So was the day before.
And the day before that.
Life has been piling up. Mostly it’s been good things. It’s been me taking steps in the direction of my goals. It’s been me investing in my family and my community. It’s also taking care of my ailing cat (who is completely recovered now, by the way!). And unexpectedly having to take my car to the garage. It’s been a lot. And, somehow, there always seems to be more. One more thing I must do today, this week, this lifetime—just so that everything will turn out the way I want it to. Do you hear God laughing at me right now? Yeah, me too.
I still have several things on my to-do list for this week, but I know I’m not going to get to all of them, so I am making accommodations. For one thing, this was not the blog post I had planned for this week. I was going to make a video and write about making art every day. I was excited about it, but it’s too much. A part of me says, Hey, just push through. It’s just one more thing. Pour another cup of coffee. You can do it! And that part of me is right. I probably could do it, but at the cost of becoming more energy indebted and less, well, me. Does that make sense? Have you noticed that when you overextend yourself for too long that you turn into an ugly, ungrateful, wretched, slobbering monster?
Or is that just me?
Anyway, the biggest problem with my monster is that she invariably makes things worse. Every little molehill becomes Mt. Everest. Every tiny slight becomes a gaping wound. Every mistake becomes life-threatening. This attitude perpetuates a cycle of unhappiness and, ultimately, under-productiveness.
A few months ago I read a blog post on Kris Carr’s website titled The Myth of Finding Your Purpose. She says it’s her most popular post of all time and I can understand why. In it, she begs the question, “What if finding your purpose is about . . . nurturing yourself?” At first, I felt a little perplexed by this. How can that be a purpose? Isn’t that just something that happens when you pursue and achieve your true calling(s)? But when I thought about it, I realized that my callings—literally, the things that call to me—are simply things I do in service to my purpose. And my purpose is to be the best—the healthiest and happiest and kindest—version possible of this particular conglomeration of cells and spirit that my parents happened to name Diana. My purpose is to spend as little time in the monster skin as possible.
So today, I am taking a nice and easy day. Not a vacation day. Not a sick day. I thought about both of these options. I thought about not blogging, but I realized this is one of the things I do that feeds my spirit, and I didn’t want to rob myself of that. A nice and easy day means being honest with myself about what I can and cannot accomplish. It means not expecting too much. It means reminding myself that even though all those things on my list seem imperative, probably none of them are actually life and death It means going slowly, taking the most important thing first, and letting it take however long it takes. It means remembering to breathe, to release my shoulders from their defensive stance next to my ears, and to enjoy the sunshine flowing through the window.