30, furloughed and thriving

Hello and happy Sunday Funday. [Blogged while checking myself for ticks.]

After eight years of defining my days by deadlines and tasks, I found myself furloughed and, well…free. Free of expectation, free of structure, and free of saying things like, “I’ll have that to you by EOD.” My work days and weekends, which were once so mentally segregated, had simply become the days that made up my life. A life that maybe isn’t meant to be structured around stress or stretch goals. The one thing my furlough gave me the most perspective on? Time.

It’s the one thing we all want more of, isn’t it? I know it is for me. There are so many things I want to do in this life. And for the last eight years, I’ve given so much of that time away. Do you ever feel like you wake up, maybe do a little workout, head to work, work, head home, eat dinner, maybe have 60 minutes to do something else, go to bed, and do the same thing all over again in eight hours? There were many times I felt like Dr. Strange when he confronts Dormammu. Just an endless loop of fatigue and misery. (Also, are we attracted to Benedict Cumberbatch, or is the jury still out.)

Anyway. In my three-week furlough, I felt my deadline-driven anxiety and conference-call dread melt away. I spent time on self-care. On nurturing my new marriage. On home projects with my retired dad, who I miss spending time with. And especially now, as I realize just how quickly life goes by, I don’t know how anyone doesn’t craft a life for themselves that’s a little unconventional. I will never understand the drive people have to be on top, or make the most money. Because even though all the inspirational quotes say you can have it all — you can’t. The sacrifice of time is something I’m not willing to bargain with, and I wish others would see that. Because you’ll be 85 wishing for a time machine.

If you don’t already follow colleenbordeaux on Instagram, you need to immediately. She’s my spirit animal* (*woman) and is full of incredible perspective that speaks directly to each fiber of my being. I particularly love this video, where she talks about why we don’t live a life that’s true to ourselves. The whole thing is great, but right around 1:50 is what really gets me.

Maybe you love to work around the clock. Mazal. But I don’t. And I didn’t know that until I gave myself permission to think about how I want my life to look, and that it might be very different from the “norm”. So while we sit in these final moments of quarantine, give yourself permission to decide for yourself what you want your new normal to be.

As my dad always says, “Blink, and you’re my age.” It’s annoying how he’s always right.

Don’t tell him I said that.

Care to share?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s