You may have heard of the book, 7 Habits of Successful People. I read it once, a long time ago. I don’t remember what they are now, but one thing I did take away stares at you from the title. Successful People have habits. And yes, we all have habits, but what we don’t realize is how complex some of those habits are, or how forceful they can be.
A lot of the time, I use habits as a way to accomplish what I want. If I want to remember a task, I put it in my phone calendar. If I find a cool website that I can’t read until later, I email it to myself so I know exactly where the link is. My routine is as rigid as a steel girder. The upside is, I get a lot of shit done. The downside is, this doesn’t leave much room for ‘me’ time.
My problem is people. Namely, I have a ton of good friends and family that I don’t want to lose track of. Then, I also have my social demands. There are guests over at least three times a week at my house, and then of course there’s family night, and the weekend, which leaves me with very little time. And of course there are my tasks – running errands, cleaning the house, helping my son with his homework, editing my novel, and putting my son to bed to name a few. This is before any extra hanging out with friends I don’t see on a weekly basis. And let’s not forget that I also have phone calls to make to my out-of-state friends and family.
I want to pare down my life and simplify it somewhat. Obviously husband and son time are not going to see any paring down, and my husband likes to host our friends so they’re coming over whether I want to be social or antisocial. I have tried to write on movie night, but generally I get distracted by whatever is going on in the big screen in our living room, and I can’t work that way very well.
I don’t want to tell my friends, “Hey look, sorry,” but I think that is my only option. Usually I’m the initiator for communication, so honestly if I stop talking to them I don’t think they’d even notice, at first. Eventually they’d want to renew ties, and by that time it might even be time to worry about it, but I am pushing myself to the limit and I need more breathing room.
It took a conversation with my husband to bring this into perspective for me. I was talking about how my sister is a much bigger badass than I am. She’s currently pregnant, has a sinus infection, can’t breathe through her nose, and went to work yesterday despite her minimum one hour commute (one way). There is no way I would do that to myself. Yet, my husband pointed out that I should turn it around and point out all the things I do in a day.
It seems I have gone from being a flakey gamer girl who could barely keep track of what day it was to a hyper vigilant obsessive-compulsive who has to alphabetize her to-do lists. These ‘habits’ have turned me into the kind of person who plays Tetris with her calendar instead of using it for occasional appointments.
Even now, I am writing this blog post to avoid my editing. It’s seven days into May and I have one chapter done and I’m only just into the second. Of course, my friend Allie says that editing is the WORST. She’s in my monthly writer’s group. And no, I’m not giving that up in my mass culling.
Hopefully I’ll figure out a way to slow my role. I’m going to have to, because the wall is fast approaching, whether I do or not.