Right now I am exhausted. Tired enough to fall asleep on the sofa in the afternoon, or on the bus on the way home. So tired I’m struggling to get up in the morning, I’m getting in to work late, and I’m low on patience or care.
Basically, I’m doing too much.
In the simple/slow/minimalist blogs I read ‘saying no’ and stopping ‘busyness’ is pretty big. There’s lots of folk talking about slowing down and avoiding the overwhelm that is often modern Anglophone life. I thought I had a pretty good handle on my time, and that I wasn’t falling into that place. I mean, I only work part time!
Evidently I was wrong. This last month has been steadily too much, and I’m now in a place where I’m having to slash back at my commitments. Part of me feels guilty about this. I ‘only’ work part time. Surely I should be able to handle a few late nights? I try and correct this thought by listing out all the things I do: Primary job every morning, hour and a half to two hours travel every day, then second job and dance class Monday until 10pm, therapy Tuesday afternoon, training to volunteer with a charity until 9:30pm Wednesday (then more travel), college until 9pm Thursday (and travel).
Does that sound like a lot? Sometimes it does to me, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m really aware how long days and nights are some people’s normal. And then I feel like I should just be able to take it. But the thing is I can’t. I’m exhausted (to the extent that I just lay down and slept for an hour right in the middle of writing this) and I’m struggling to enjoy anything.
And that really is the sticking point here. I don’t intrinsically mind being tired, but I do mind being unhappy. If I can’t see any relief in the future, if every week looks the same, just full to the brim with even more on the horizon, I just end up feeling down about it all. And what’s the point, in the end? I am not motivated to be a millionaire, to retire at 40, to own a big house. I have some mid and long term goals, but nothing that’s worth being unhappy for.
So it looks like I’m going to have to cut back on some things. But that’s a bit more of a complicated decision, so in the short term I’m going to use the last of my holiday allowance to book some days off and schedule in absolutely nothing. Well, I’m going to plan nothing, and just let myself do whatever I feel like. Hopefully in a week or so I’ll have the headspace to think a bit more clearly. In the meantime, I’m going to work on not feeling guilty for needing more time and space in my lifetime. We’ll see how easy that is!