For the past couple weeks, I've happily been in the position where I wake up looking forward to each day (well, more or less - can't say I'm really looking forward to the day I get my cavity filled later this week!) and looking back on the week with a sense of satisfaction. It's a nice place to be and I'm so thankful for it! As I mentioned before, I was starting to get kind of antsy by the summer months, so having a more regular routine and a lot more responsibilities outside of myself (ie. for other people) has made a huge difference.
Of course, I now have those overflowing days where I end up eating lunch around 6 pm and am more or less running from one thing to another, but I'm trying to avoid that as much as possible. I do hate rushing. Passionately! I'm sure it's unhealthy because it sends my stress levels through the roof, and when I'm over-scheduled, I also find it hard to be focused on what I'm doing at the present moment and give my full attention to it. Blegch, the high-powered rushing from one meeting to another lifestyle is clearly not for me!
Thankfully, though, I have a lot of control over my schedule these days. The trick is just learning to say no, graciously, when I realize that the day or week is already fully booked and that adding anything more in starts to follow the law of diminishing returns. (This is a trick I have not yet mastered. Someone teach me, please?)
I do have a few tricks that are working well, though. To wit, I've actually taken to blocking out sections of my agenda to make sure I include enough time to recharge from the more hectic moments of the week. I'm also ridiculously strict about keeping Monday entirely as a day off - absolutely no meetings or social obligations allowed! It usually doesn't end up being much of a day "off" since I'm generally cleaning the house, getting caught up on emails, and organizing the week ahead, but as an introvert, I look forward to that time all week because I know I can stay cocooned alone at home, and no one is allowed to enter my hamster ball!* Really, time off doesn't have to mean not doing anything productive, it just has to mean no human interaction is required. Knowing that alone time is coming gets me through the weekend, when I have to be "on" most of the time.
There's still a lot of room for improvement (especially in continuing regular workouts), but I feel much more relaxed overall, confident that I'm moving in the right direction and being smarter about how to use my time and fit my schedule to my strengths and goals, and not the other way around. I just hope these happy feelings are around to stay!
*(Skip the intro and scroll to middle of page for the cartoon strip.)