Patterns

Have you ever thought about patterns in your day?

How you structure your free time?

What habits you fall into, without ever realizing it?

…yeah, neither did I.

Until my sister pointed it out to me while I was in the midst of what I thought was a brutal case of Sunday night blues.

Let’s backup for a sec. This weekend? Awesome. Needed in every single way. Lots of time spent at barre n9ne (my ‘happy place). A little bit of ‘me’ time spoiling myself silly at Lululemon on Saturday afternoon (keep an eye on instagram tomorrow, ha!). An incredible date night out with Scott, something we both needed so badly after the week we both had. A date night that was just so perfect, I can’t even put it into words…so I’m not going to even bother trying (sorry…). And then today. Much-needed family time with my grandparents who were visiting from Maine, my husband, my beautiful niece Isabel, my mom (aka ‘mimi’ according to Isabel) and my two sisters (and brothers-in-law).

But now? I find myself sitting here sad, blue, blue, blue and unable to shake it.

Sitting here on the couch while Scott is busy preparing his lesson plans for the week, I’m just sad. And I couldn’t put my finger on it, nor could I shake it off. So I texted Jo. Told her I was tempted to go run a few miles on the treadmill just to grab some endorphins (even though today is my rest day, a much-needed one, too). She promptly ‘tough loved’ some sense into me, even though I resisted it at first.

You see, she pointed something out for me that I wasn’t seeing clearly at all. The pattern, or habit, I fall into a LOT lately. Rather than embrace ‘me’ time or any sort of chill time and use it as actual chill time, I fill that time with as much productivity as I can. I guess I just look at that ‘me’ time as my time to catch up, or get ahead, of the things that I have a hard time controlling during the week. Like laundry. Or food prep for the week. Or cleaning. Or whatever I can get my paws on to keep me in control.

…there’s that word again: control.

I clearly don’t know how to let go of control. And I really have no idea how to use ‘me’ time for anything other than productivity, in an effort to stay in control of the chaos that my weeks become with all that I try (usually very successfully) to jam into it.

Sure, I thrive on being busy and filling my days. I LOVE how full and happy my life is right now. And yes, I do have good balance most of the time. But to say that I take my own advice that I am constantly giving all of you? To find balance, harness it, own it, and never let it go?

Welp, I fail at that sometimes. The balance thing. And it all goes back to that pattern thing. Or habit.

I don’t know how to let go, to not be in control all.the.time, to just be.
I promised myself I’d do more of that this year, that I’d simplify.

And I need to get back to that place — simplifying. Even if that means *not* using an hour of unexpected free time for something productive (like building a few new playlists for classes, something I am in dire need of doing…). And instead, pick up one of the countless magazines sitting in the magazine rack in the living room and – novel idea – read a magazine. Or literally just sit and listen to Scott typing away on his keyboard and…just be.

So this is me — being utterly honest and true — and admitting that I need to let go. Stop focusing on ‘getting ahead.’ Stop needing to be in control and overly productive all the time. Break the pattern. And start new ones: patterns that focus on embracing theย GREAT life that I have, a life that I do not need to control down to the teeniest of details all the time.

…can I get a big ass cheers to that please?
<clink>

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35 thoughts on “Patterns

  1. I am going to be the first to say you SUCK at taking your own advice. <-the most loving tough love I can give at this moment ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I am beaming right now reading this, so HAPPY that I could knock some sense into you, at least a little bit, even if you didn't just resist a 'little' you resisted a LOT and I could tell you wanted to stop talking to me at all and just go run or do something other than just effin sit the eff down ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes I am still quasi-yelling at you ๐Ÿ˜‰ But for someone that so wants simplicity and to just BE, you seriously don't know how. Even I know how a titch better than you, yep, I sure do ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I am glad you are taking a minute to call yourself out, and to task for NOT letting go of control and just being. And I hope your ass is parked on the couch and enjoying every minute as we speak. *end sisterly loving tough love-y love comment* ๐Ÿ˜‰ XOXO sis!

  2. HA. I’ve teased you about this before but tonight it’s so true. Let’s trade. I have slacked off like WOAH today (worked out, did laundry – did NOT pack for NYC, finish agenda for the week or pack snacks). You = too productive. Me = Not productive enough! Enjoy your chill time honey, embrace the few minutes you get alone after an INSANE week (full of butt-kickings might I add!). ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Big @ss cheer and a standing ovation to you!!!!!

    Just reading your blog it definitely seems like you are on the go go go! Hoping this year you continue to do the things you enjoy and hopefully that includes just being ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for this Sunday evening post–you are a great writer. “I canโ€™t even put it into wordsโ€ฆso Iโ€™m not going to even bother trying”! Excellent!

    Hoping you and Scott have a great week!

  4. Good for you for being so introspective and for asking for help from your sister to try and get to the root cause of your saddness. Wallowing or going for a run may have been easier, but man, understanding is so much more satisfying.

    I am in awe of your ability to balance your marriage, family, healthy living, work and fun!! You do inspire me to try and bring some balance to my own life.

    Cheers to you for realizing that taking a breather for yourself and giving your brain a little break is a wonderful gift for yourself:)

    • Aww thank you Jen, seriously — your perspective on this means a lot. Sometimes I really and truly don’t ‘see’ what you guys see in me and that’s partly why I don’t ever give myself that chill-out time…but you’re right. I DO balance a lot and mostly, I do a good job of that. But sometimes I need to be able to step back, to STOP juggling so much and that’s the hard part for me, you know?

  5. Big ass high five! I absolutely sympathize. It’s healthy to be motivated but not helpful when you can’t relax. I like how you called this a pattern, interesting look at things we do daily we don’t recgonize. The first step is understanding you want to change, and I think this is pretty cool.

    • It’s totally a pattern with me and it’s one that isn’t entirely a healthy one. SOMETIMES being go-go-go is great and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but when I physically cannot just stop and ‘be’, that’s a red flag, you know? It’s hard to recognize those patterns sometimes…and thankfully this time my sister was there to rescue me!

  6. YES! Cheers to you!
    Aren’t sisters the best in telling it like it is?! HAHA:-)
    It looks like you work-shopped right through this, no? Seeing the big picture (with a little help;-) is always a good thing my friend. So dig seep and relax, you deserve it!

  7. I am the worst with this…well, Tony may be worse than I am. I’m really trying to work on simplifying and really focus on relaxing when that time comes. I’m really working at it…I promise! I hope you’re enjoying some relaxation tonight my friend!

  8. Big ass cheers to that!! And man, do I totally get this. I have the hardest time embracing any downtime that I may have. I always feel like I need to get ahead, do a little bit more, etc. I had that same huge while I was sick but I didn’t give into it and I just sat on the couch and read. Not blogs, etc. but a real book and it felt SOOOOO good. It’s hard but you’re right that it’s important to remember to simplify and just be. Hope you’re enjoying some downtime now ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Your blog comment is exactly what pushed me to go buy some books at the bookstore today! While snowed in this weekend, I’m going to practice my chill time skills BIG TIME, and most of that time I hope will be spent under a blanket with a good book or two ๐Ÿ™‚ Trying anyway, TRYING !

  9. Yes, let go sister! You SO deserve it. I love that you have Jo to text & talk to when you need a little boost or sense talked into you… gotta love the power of sisters ๐Ÿ™‚

    Do you think in a way you push away “me time” because you are afraid you are being selfish or lazy in a way, since you are so Go Go Go elsewhere? I used to do that.. and still do sometimes..Whenever I get a minute for me to just breathe, I find something else to do to add to the list even if it’s just updating my blog or finishing an assignment. It’s like sometimes I can’t ever turn myself “off” when “off” is SO much needed.

    • I actually do think that’s part of it — that it feels ‘wrong’ or ‘self-centered’ to NOT go-go-go since that’s my natural inclination and part of my personality. But I need to remember that just because it’s my personality, it doesn’t mean it has to ALWAYS be my personality or reaction to free time, you know? I need to shift my focus in that regard, you know? Just because it’s always been that way, doesn’t mean it needs to always be that way for good, if that makes sense…

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  11. I thought you were getting better about the downtime! I’ve started to embrace it so much more. But what I find about the Sunday blahs is that I’ve had such a great weekend then it’s all coming to an end and I can’t seem to let myself find things to really look forward to and enjoy during the week. You know, that whole 8 hrs at work thing gets in the way ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Yeahhhhh so did I, but apparently I’ve been slipping back into habits here and there and it reared it’s ugly head finally. Just like our email convo the other day, I’m working on it, slowly but surely. AND I even got two books at the bookstore today to read this weekend while snowed-in!

  12. I love the inner perspective of this post. I usually relish an hour or so of down/quiet time to do something that I don’t normally do – like paint my nails or read a book, etc. In a weird way I find a certain satisfactory that in accomplishing something that wasn’t in my plans for the day.

    • See? I need to do that but I just don’t allow myself to. Not because I don’t deserve to, I just don’t automatically think of doing that with an hour of free time. My brain needs a serious overhaul in that regard, ha! The snow this weekend is forcing me to use that time on myself, to sit and read, relax, unwind. Something I haven’t done in quite awhile, clearly.

  13. Girlfriend, give yourself some time. Not only some ‘down’ time, but some time to adjust to giving yourself that ‘down’ time. (Does that make sense?) It’s tough changing habits. It’s hard to settle down when you know there’s so much going on in your head in regards to what you still need to/want to get done. Plan plan plan. Control control control. Go go go. It’s tough to settle that down…give yourself a break. ๐Ÿ™‚ PS: Love that you have Jo. (And man I wish I had a sister who would do that for me. I’m always doing it for them! lol)

    • That’s true — that’s actually part of the problem, learning to allow myself that down time and letting my brain catch up to that notion a bit. Being snowed in this weekend will give me the practice I need in retraining my brain, I do believe. ๐Ÿ™‚

      PS Jo and her tough love was much-needed, the words I needed to hear even though I railed against it at first. I am very blessed to have not one, but two amazing sisters who always know just what to say and at the right time โค

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