August 3, 2011

In Defense of The Sandwich

Something I’ve learned about adulthood is that life gets crazy sometimes.  Not in that voluntary add-everything-you-can-think-of-to-your to-do list, such as cleaning the closets or sweeping the garage, mind you, but crazy with things that actually need to get done.  Things with deadlines.  Or, really, multiple things with multiple deadlines.  You know, important work stuff. Things that get your head spinning in multiple different directions, when you feel like you don’t even have enough time to take a sip of tea or eat your lunch, or remember to eat lunch, for that matter.  I am not the only one with a crazy busy life.  Those with careers and kids and houses – it’s all the spice of life that not only makes us crazy, but brings us a certain amount of contentment, too.  Being busy makes us feel necessary, validated, and purposeful, in a sense. 

But, when things get so busy it’s easy to to take care of ourselves a little less, such as not eating enough vegetables, exercising, or flossing.  There are certain things that I make sure to keep up with even when I’m stressed out and overworked, such as working out everyday, eating healthy, and taking my vitamins. There are other things that I tend to let slide when I've got too much going on, such as sleep.  I do my best to get enough of it, I really do, but sometimes my Type A mentality  just doesn’t let that happen, and I’m left lying wide awake in my bed worrying if I sent the correct version of a document to a client.  While maintaining a sense of normalcy in a state of chaos takes a lot of work and conscious effort, I’m learning that life is always going to be chaotic and busy.  The days of half-days at kindergarten are long since gone.  Because of that, life is too short to save the simple things for tomorrow. 

Lately I’ve been scarfing down my lunch while staring at a computer screen because I’ve just been too busy to take a lunch break.  You know the feeling, right?  But today, after countless days of working straight through, I shut my door and forced myself to take 20 minutes step away my computer while I ate my lunch and stared into space.  What a vacation that was.  I felt like such a rebel to myself!  Amazingly, the yawns that I had had all morning were cured, and I was able to get through the day with clarity and efficiency.  More importantly, the day did not wiz by in that all-work no-play blur, because I took a few minutes for Sarah.  This reminded me that taking time to step away and relax even just for a few minutes is necessary for productivity.   While rituals are important, especially in attaining a higher level of creativity and spiritual attainment, the essence of taking time to recharge is perhaps a more fundamentally base need to the functioning of the human mind, because it serves the purpose of allowing us to maintain efficiency and productivity.  To be the best versions of ourselves, sometimes we have to take a little quiet time.  Kind of like nap time for adults.   

I am fortunate for a lot of things, one of them being my job.  That is clear, as I would not take it so seriously if it didn’t fulfill me or stimulate me the way that it does.  Just the same, though, it is not my end-all be-all.  There are a lot of things I value in life; however, when things are crazy, it’s easy to forget that there is life beyond that chaos or that it is necessary to take time in the midst of  that chaos for the sheer pursuit of efficiency.   Equally as important, if not more important, though, is taking time to take care of yourself.  This takes effort and time when we feel we don't have enough of it, but which transcends into more time because life feels fuller, more complete, less rushed.  I will say, that sandwich never tasted so good.  I might try it more often.   

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