I have been thinking and thinking about how much is enough and how much is too much. I tend to do as much as possible because it suits me to work that way. Sometimes I get overwhelmed.
My strategy when I feel overwhelmed is to drop a couple of commitments until I feel that sense of joy return. I'm not exaggerating when I say joy. Most of the time I wake up saying to myself, "I have such and such to do today - YES!" That's not to say I love everything that I have to do. Just most days the highlight is something I have chosen or at least accepted and I am happy to do it.
Yesterday I chose to drop two commitments for the day: I attended my writer's group, but just for half an hour to say hello to everyone and share in the announcements part of the meeting. I left before reading and workshopping began. On the way home I felt sad, mostly that I wasn't staying to help my friends and share in the creative process. But I got over it. Later that afternoon I was supposed to go to a meeting in our strata complex about insurance issues. I missed the meeting, sent my research in ahead by email and called in my regrets. Later in the day as I drove out of the complex to take some of Fi's friends home after a visit, I saw my neighbours coming home from the meeting. I felt guilty to see them working hard at something important on a Sunday afternoon and I ducked out. But I got over it.
Instead of spending the afternoon at Shoreline Writers and the Insurance Committee, I sewed a costume, cooked home-made soup for supper, talked about hockey with our son, kept an eye on Andy and his bad cold, and enjoyed the silliness of 3 girls watching the second half of Titanic on DVD.
This morning I woke up feeling 100% better! It will be a late night at the Vancouver Poetry Slam, but I know for sure that I want to be there. I go to it with joy. It's funny how a mini-sabbatical can make such a difference. Nobody missed me terribly or thought I was being negligent, and I felt like I was in the right place doing the right thing.
question: Do you take a break sometimes?
mompoet - changing plans, maintaining happiness