I spent most of my adult life wanting to be the kind of woman who squeezed every second out of every minute of every hour out of the day. At the time, these were high hopes for a girl that couldn’t even commit to making her bed in the morning.
I wanted to be the woman who woke up early, went to the gym, made breakfast, wore heels to work, looked flawless on the train, killed presentations, power lunched, had happy hour with her girls, then came home to her modern, high rise apartment Downtown and had a glass of wine while writing her book before bed. Instead, I woke up at 7am, but hit the snooze button four times, had wet hair on the train, and got anxiety hosting every All Hands meeting.
Then, about a year ago I slowly started to become the woman I wanted to be. I don’t know what triggered it, perhaps nothing. I started making my bed every morning, and somehow found the energy to wake up early and make breakfast. I found myself washing dishes right away. I went to the yoga and the gym consistently. I became less tolerant of messiness, and I could no longer sleep in or lounge without having couch potato remorse.
I had finally tapped into the part of me that was just as productive outside of work as I was on the job. Even as I write this, I’m trying to purchase black out shades and watch an episode of Sneaky Pete while researching cheap vacation destinations in July. I come home from work and look around my apartment trying to find things to do. I have yet to just come home, and take a load off. The fact of the matter is, I can’t sit still until I’ve finished everything that can be done. Except, I’m constantly finding new things to do.
I had finally turned on that part of my brain. The problem now is now I can’t turn it off. I can’t relax until absolutely everything is done right then and there. Everything is urgent even if it’s not. I’ve created a monster. One that unpacks right when she’s back from a trip and puts every dish away even if she’s running late for work.
My 30 year-old me would be SO PROUD … yet my 36 year-old self isn’t. I feel as if it was done all in vain. Because seconds turn into minutes, and minutes turn into hours, and hours turn into days, and all I have to show for it is a clean apartment and a planner filled with crossed-out “To Do Lists”. Here I am doing all the things I’ve praised, yet I don’t feel anymore a Goddess than I did before. What gives?
I’m not going to downplay the importance of prioritizing and utilizing your time. It’s an admirable talent that I’ve strived years to have. However, I am going to glorify the importance of quality time as an adjective and not a noun. Because you can count all the minutes you spend (or don’t spend) on various projects throughout your day, but it’s the times you love, feel loved and have purpose that count most.