Picking up where Bossy left off last week, Quitter ponders how to get off, or at least slow down, the insane hamster wheel that has become her life.
Prelude from Bossy: “What she said.”
Standard greetings friends and well wishers. I would provide you with a more personal greeting, but the truth is that I’m far too tired to come up with anything less generic.
You may have noticed a common theme of late here on Quitter and Bossy. (No, not cheese, although we do talk about that and ukulele playing more then most.) What seems to be playing out for both Bossy and I these days is having lives that are so jam packed full of parenting, working, do-gooding and keeping our households from falling apart, etc. that we feel we can barely keep up, let alone make time to see friends, including each other. (Bossy and I have not physically laid eyes on each other since September!)
I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but it’s at the point that both Bossy and I had to step back from our beloved writing workshop as we kept either being no-shows are falling asleep in group. Clearly something has to give. And although I wholeheartedly endorse Bossy’s “friendship hiatus,” stance and have been utilizing it to the point of “hermitdom,” I feel it could leave us in a place of not having an organ donor if we need one, and that would just be foolish planning on our part.
So in no particular order, and with zero promise to actually follow through on any of these, here are the five steps I may consider taking to find some much needed balance in my life and slow the f down.
- Wallow in My Own Crapulence
For better or worse I am a bit of a neat freak, not on an OCD level, but on a “can’t relax and sit down if my house is out of order and there is laundry that needs doing,” kind of level. And with kids, pets and a partner who is cleaning challenged that results in me constantly in tidy mode. I need to knock that shit off.
- Saying “NO” More
This is something I am usually f’ing awesome at. As a high functioning introvert I have become very adept at finding ways to avoid social situations and commitments that feel draining…and yet, if it’s for a good cause and helping people/animals in need somehow I find myself pulled in. But there is just not enough gas in ol’ Quitter’s tank right now to be the “do-gooder,” I feel I should be. I need to be okay with stepping back and believing someone will step into my place.
- Walk Away
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have an amazing new job that I LOVE, but it can be all consuming if I let it be. It’s the kind of work that never finishes, is imperfect and always leaves me thinking I could have done more. But if I am going to have any kind of longevity doing it I need to shut it down when I leave the building.
- Saying “YES” More
Usually the first thing to get cut when I’m feeling overwhelmed is social interaction of any kind. And I know Bossy is the same way as evidenced by her “Friendship Hiatus,” post from last week. But the consequence of cutting out time with friends, especially the awesomeness that is Bossy, is feeling isolated and alone. My partner, who is facing a similar work/life balance crisis, mentioned that these days it feels like we’re just putting one foot in front of the other and going through the motions of life without really living it. That was an eye opener. So we’re forcing ourselves to dive back into the friendship pool regardless of how tired we feel. (And the whole having friends as potential organ donors thing never hurts.)
- Getting the “F,” Out of Dodge
That’s right, I’m running away. (To anyone who knows me well this comes as no surprise. It’s kind of my thing.) But I’m not suggesting taking off for any of the usual reasons (evading “the man,” avoiding a murder wrap, escaping a workplace cookie swap.) I’m running so that I can stop. Maybe it will just be for a few hours, but if I’m lucky it will be for a few days or even a week. No kids, no partner, just me and maybe a friend or two in a place far enough away from our daily lives that we can pretend to be someone else or who we were before we bought into all this grown up shit.