I’ve been thinking a lot lately about plans and priorities, not just for organization’s sake but because I have a lot going on this spring and all the plans on the calendar reeled off in quick succession make it scary to think how fast the time will fly by. This weekend was the last for awhile with no major events. I had the happiest day on Saturday even though I wasn’t doing much of anything – running, baking and blogging, a burger and fries and ice cream with my boyfriend. I really need that kind of day once in awhile. I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming, but there is a certain amount of stress that accompanies it all, especially for a natural planner like me.
Over the past couple of years I’ve slowly gotten more comfortable with spontaneity. But I’m reaching the point in life where you have to make plans in advance to be able to see anyone. Not too far in advance because they’ll get cancelled, not too close to the time when they’re already booked. It’s a balancing act, one that I don’t always perform well. At the end of January I realized that I already knew what I was going to be doing every weekend in February, and with the exception of a change of plans for Valentine’s Day/Arctic Freeze Day, everything was as expected. It was comforting to know I had a full life, and enjoyable in the living of it, but it also meant not a lot of time to breathe. Then the same thing happened toward the end of February, right after my Florida trip. While the first two weekends in March weren’t jammed, I suddenly realized I could tell you what I’ll be doing almost every weekend for the next two months!
It’s all good stuff. The New York City Half Marathon this coming Sunday, a trip home to Connecticut the following weekend for a special dinner, running the Scotland 10K on April 2nd, heading to Philadelphia the weekend after that for a party, the MORE Women’s Half Marathon on April 17th, Passover, my dear friend’s bridal shower at April’s end, and a trip to Maine over the first full weekend in May. Just stop and re-read that. It’s a lot to take in, right? I think the key is going to be finding time in between when I can relax and enjoy the mundane little moments.
The upshot of this rambling about such a lucky-to-have conundrum is that I took a step back and thought about my priorities. I love a lot of things (hence the title of this blog), from running to cooking, reading, writing, brunching, volunteering, museum/performance-going, traveling, and of course above all else spending quality time with friends and family. There’s only so much time in the week outside of work to fit it all in. The first step was recognizing that my personal and professional lives are both very different than they were a year ago, and that it’s okay to have different priorities now.
Take November Project. I was introduced to this amazing tribe of people at exactly the right time for me. It was the start of my last semester of law school. I wanted to branch out beyond that world. I was excited to meet others interested in waking up early, working out, and socializing around fitness and food. I was never the most social at the 6:28am workouts, but I showed up every Wednesday for most of the spring. I started going to some of the other meetups, meeting my friend Kaitlin on a serendipitous Saturday long run (I ended up losing the pack because they were all speed demons like her, but we went to brunch after the next race, discovered we were both bloggers, and the rest is history). I wasn’t going to participate over the summer while I was in Connecticut studying for the bar exam, but I had every intention of returning come autumn and work. I looked forward to having some continuity as I began a new phase of my life.
I went to a workout or two in October, and then life happened. Even though my working hours are earlier than a lot of lawyers, they’re not so early that I need to wake up the sun other than in the dead of winter. Going to an NP workout meant sacrificing sleep, and if I wanted to see my friends or boyfriend on a weeknight – which meant staying up a little later – I would be burning the candle at both ends. I told myself I’d go, but I ended up switching off my wake_up_the_sun alarm (yes, I had one) every week and feeling a little disappointed in myself. I wasn’t skipping a workout, I was just going to run 4-5 miles and be back at my apartment getting ready for the day within the hour, because that’s what I can manage with my schedule. So why the regret?
It was the fact that I still had that alarm, and that when I went to shut it off, or even glanced at it when setting a different one, I was reminded of something I wasn’t doing. That made me feel guilty – and I shouldn’t. There are many reasons why NP is an amazing thing, but I need my weekday morning runs to be a time when I can clear my head and mentally prepare for the day ahead. I need them to be time-efficient. NP just doesn’t fit with either of those considerations. I’m grateful it exists and would urge anyone to #justshowup and give it a try. I’m so happy I made the friends I did through showing up myself, and hope those friendships will continue. But yesterday, I deleted my wake_up_the_sun alarm, and with it the reminder of a feeling that I wasn’t doing it all. I have different priorities now than I did, and that’s okay. Everyone’s version of “all” is different, and I’m on the way to figuring out mine.
Have your priorities changed over time?
Do you find yourself over-scheduled?
Is it hard for you to let go in order to make room for other things?
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