Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Crowded Life We Lead

as i sit in the quiet of the morning on this cool morning, i feel a sense of tiredness, of being overwhelmed with the responsibilities of my two part-time jobs and my life at home. deadlines of upcoming symphony concerts that i will be pushed to meet despite weeks of working to get everything done in advance to avoid the crush of too much work/too little time weigh on me. the relentless demands of planning and preparing for church services constantly nag at me. i am anxious because home responsibilities are being pushed aside in order to take care of these other demands on my time.

as i ponder how to resolve these pressures, i realize that i must order my priorities, i must take care of my own mental and physical well being before i can take care of other matters. i have let go of my habit of daily exercise, and much of my mental state has resulted from ignoring my physical needs. the two are closely connected, and i am missing the joy of moving because i want to move. a lingering sense of guilt has taken over; my inner critic is saying, "Shame on you! You should be doing this or that," and i've forgotten that exercise is something i do because i enjoy it, not because i "should" be doing it.

here's my plan: first, i'll spend less time at the ipad and the computer doing things that are not contributing to my enjoyment of life. second, i'll put getting up and moving for the sheer fun of it at the top of my list of priorities for the day, along with meditation, because i can do both simultaneously. third, i'll budget the time spent on taking care of the demands of my jobs, realizing that if it all doesn't get done, it's because others have failed to take care of their responsibilities in a timely fashion, thus delaying my ability to get my work done on time. finally, i'll use the time i would have spent on the time-wasting electronic gadgets to help more around the house.

simply setting down a plan makes me feel less stressed, and i realize that i've allowed myself to be swallowed up by the expectations of others, that i've replaced joyfully doing things with a guilt-motivated schedule that ignores my own most basic needs. my prayer for myself and for you, if some of this sounds familiar to your situation, is that i am reminded frequently of how my intention affects my actions and that i take time to examine my view of what's truly important.

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