It takes a special kind of normal to come back to normal, if you know what I mean. And that’s what December has been like. A slow, washing over of calm, cool energy. Almost as refreshingly cool as the morning air these days. I want to breathe in deep and inhale illegal amounts of it, in the hope that it will stay.
My life has been on that oft-mentioned roller-coaster ride for oh-too-long now. The momentary lulls were rushed. I stopped to catch my breath, now and then, only to be whisked right out of that calm state of mind. Even within the basic constructs of my basic, mundane life, somehow I managed to build a hectic and demanding every day existence. It made my life simple but full. Busy, but gratifying. Tiring, but extremely satisfying. For a large part of the year, at least. I mentioned briefly that the joys of simplicity are seriously underrated. Right after I said that I have been so caught up in the all consuming endeavour of making every single day count that.
Right now I feel like I am int he afterglow of all that frenetic activity. The trouble with wanting to do it all (even if that is just 4 things in any given day) is that unless you have super-human energy levels or have figured out the sane way to stretch every day to 40 hours, you’re bound to run yourself into a rut. No matter how exciting those activities may be, or how satisfies you feel at the end, you cannot escape the fact that everything feels like its happening smack in the midst of a giant crazy rush. The wants and needs stacked up much quicker than I could tend to them. I have conveniently chosen the smaller, low-intensity, less demanding things and knocked them off fast. And of course, the bigger things that demand more time and attention get indefinitely pushed onto that horrible thing called the back burner.
It’s like this. Far easier to wake up and bake a loaf of bread I have never tried before, than dissect the jumble of thoughts I woke up with and put them down in to that synopsis that has been lying collecting dust for weeks now. On any given day I am way more inclined to visit that restaurant I need to review, than do that research for the other, longer feature. When it comes to doing the chores, of course I’d rather clean out the grocery cupboard myself, than delegate it. I could leave it all and peacefully proceed to finish my assignment, in the knowledge that the cupboard will be cleaned and re-organised. But that’s just asking for too much from a control freak like me, don’t you think?
A few weeks ago I physically felt the clutter of this web of accomplishing everything all at once, creeping up and stifling me. That constant din, that buzzing hum of all that I wanted to do, chipped on even while I was fully engaged in the activity at hand. I realised very soon that I will have to let some of that background noise fade into silence, in order to focus on more important things.
Finish that feature on time.
Get that newsletter done before VC comes home again and gives me that weird its-still-not-done? look.
Do that research in advance, so I don’t have to scramble towards the deadline like a headless chicken. Again.
Learn to leave some things for other people to do.
Stop being such a goddamned control freak. Yeah, no easy way to say that. I need to let the eff go a little. I think I’m getting there. Very, very slowly. Prioritization was never my forte, but I never imagined I’d struggle most when I am unemployed and wanting to call the shots in my life, myself. Oh the irony.
So much of that hectic clutter and background noise was self-made. Even in the basic, mundane bits of every day life, I seemed to have forgotten the simple joys of just being.
December has been a sort of an unplanned time of decompression. That special kind of normal it takes to come back to normal. Of letting it all go for a bit, and just wandering through life like a normal person, for a change. Without pretending like some kind of super-woman on ecstasy, all the time. That rush of accomplishing everything was fun while it lasted. That feeling of waking up and making just whatever the hell I pleased, of the day ahead. Of indulging in endless hours of baking, writing, reading and not stopping because of some unwritten deadline somewhere.
The day I realised that my brain felt just as tired as my ankles did at the end of the day, I knew I need to back this truck up a little. I need to learn to sip slowly and savour the moments of fulfillment, rather than grab at it like a greedy person and chug more than I can handle in one go. Quite unknowingly, December has opened my eyes again, to the completely delicious lightness of just being. And of being free.