We need quiet time to examine our livesopenly and honestly -spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunityto renew itself and create order.
Susan L Taylor
This morning, I woke up reflecting on yesterday, for me this means being critical and over-analyzing everything. Yesterday, I woke up, watched Games of Thrones, until I was completely caught up. And then worked a little, meaning barely at all, answering emails. And then we had a low key night out to celebrate our anniversary. All day, I had an ache that I wasn't doing "enough." It is a thought I've had over the past year and half. But this morning as I felt "guilty," I started asking myself...why?
I realized, prior to leaving my job in Corporate America, I had created a life based on checklists. Literally, I had:
- a digital work calendar
- 2 digital NGO calendars
- a personal digital calendar
- to-do lists that matched
- a wall calendar to see an overview of my day in the morning
- a weekly planner (image below) that allowed me to see the big picture things I had to get done for the week
Looking back, it is no wonder that I didn't see time/life slipping through my fingers. I was literally living one day to the next trying to get it all done. There was no room to think, process, or pause - there was too much to do!
Now, my time is different, I have no one to report to, my goals are self-designed, my schedule is self-designed. I had a friend share that she "feels exhausted when she's not being authentic." And it is so true, the days that I fill up my schedule I "think" I'm productive, but I just end up feeling drained and no closer to my goals. The days that there is space, I spend so much of my time criticizing myself I can't allow myself thought.
So I asked myself...why?
Funny enough, watching Games of Thrones really got me thinking about my orientation to time. The characters spend so much time standing outside staring into space, it takes time waiting for things to happen, I mean, they send messages via pigeons. And it just is. It made me think about my orientation to time. I had become accustom to a life that was so busy there was no room to think or create. And now that my life demands that I think and create, I don't know how to embrace time.
It brings me home to my practice of decolonization, and time being a silent medium of westernization/colonialism. My discipline of time was taught through every institution I grew up in. I try to imagine my ancestors, how would they have orientated their life, when you had to get your own food, before you could drive, before instant satisfaction was possible. I don't expect to suddenly live without modern technology and structure, but I do imagine how I can incorporate some of the patience and intimacy of my ancestors into my fast paced life.
A few practices I have been working on:
- Not using an alarm clock when I don't need to be up the next morning
- Sleeping when I am tired
- Staying awake when I am not tired
- Eating only when I am hungry (blog on intermittent fasting, to come)
- Taking daily walks with my dog and letting him lead
Practices I want to take on:
- Not logging what I do in a calendar (I do this for my own feeling of accomplishment)
- Not logging into a to-do list just to check it off (I still need a to-do list because I am forgetful)
- Not looking at the time/phone when I am with people
It is said, that it takes 30 days to change a behavior. For me I think this will be a lifetime practice of re-orientating myself within the framework I live in.