Rest, spontaneity, and putting myself last

March 22, 2016
I slept in this morning.  My planner had “Barre3” written in today’s AM slot.  I plan in workouts 6 days per week, and usually get them all in unless one of us is sick.  Exercise is important to me on several levels (mental, physical, emotional), so I do not have a problem in generally treating these plans with the reverence that I do think they deserve.

But I think I really need to rest more sometimes.  Not just in the physical sense, but in that rushing/must-be-productive/panicked sort of way.  And it’s not even like I AM all that productive sometimes, especially at the end of a long day when I feel like I’ve really pushed myself.  It is at those times that I tend to just crash, and not in a nice relaxed manner.  More like hitting the wall, and often feeling miserable, spent, and oddly resentful.  Of what/who?  I’m not even sure.

I read Brittany’s post today, in which she describes a day in which she just abandoned her to do list and relaxed with her two young girls, and how the time passed in a “welcomed, un-rushed flow.”  She writes: “Slowly but surely, I felt a metaphorical exhale as all the things I was ‘supposed’ to do disappeared from my mind.”

Lately I feel like I never experience that exhale.  I always promise myself “free time” when I’ve finished items A through triple-Z, and then it’s like, WOW, somehow the end of the list is eluding me.  Maybe next time.  

I need to create this time, this space.  And I need it to be more than a rarity (ie, vacation / random day off).  I think one of the reasons that I love planners so much (okay – there are probably A LOT of reasons) is that in theory I should be able to get all of my obligations on paper so that I can have the freedom to enjoy some white space in between.  I just need to somehow find some room between the lines again.

Sleeping in once in a while seems like a good start.


  • Reply Brittany March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    For what it is worth, I am always amazed by all that you do. I’m not sure if I should even say that in fear that it will perceived as encouraging the busy go-go-go, but it’s true. You are awesome and doing an amazing job with wearing all your hats.

    I, too, get caught up in the go-go-go and though I wish I had a better natural balance, it’s usually when the rest days are forced upon me (like yesterday) that I get my perspective. It’s taking me a long time (and still is taking me) to understand that all the to dos on the list will never be done. I can have a whole day and knock things off, but inevitably more emails pour in, more laundry fills the basket and another season arrives before I got to all the fun stuff I wanted to do in the last one.

    I’m desperately trying to learn how to slow down while still accomplishing the things I want to. It’s an ever-evolving process, but at least I feel I’m a little closer to each time I stop to take note on my progress, so I guess I can’t ask for much more than that.

    …wow that was a lengthy comment. Thanks for letting my type out my inner mom-ologue 😉 And thank you for your thoughts on my post too!

  • Reply Alyssa March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    This hits home! That crash along with the never ending list and every-slot-filled planner is so familiar. Hope you find some breathing room today!

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Good for you for sleeping in! I love exercise and protect my work-out time like nothing else in my life, but sometimes…you just have to sleep in. It feels amazing when its a luxury.
    I am the same in that I do not allow myself to really relax until everything is done. And by then I’m exhausted…so I never truly get to relax. I also feel like even my free time (i.e. non-work time) gets full of "shoulds". I should be "present" all the time. I should be healthy in my eating, try to get more steps in, work on "hobbies" instead of watching TV, feel grateful, etc… etc… etc…

  • Reply Katie March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve come out of lurkdom…I have struggled reading the last few posts about needing to slow down and find more free time. I have all the same struggles as you do (my husband and I work similar hours to you and your husband), except we don’t have the same salary. So therefore, we don’t have many of the same luxuries like childcare. I know you work hard for what you have, and you’ve never seemed to ignore the privilege that comes with that, so I don’t blame you for your success. However, I think I might need to take a step back as a reader. Best of luck!

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      AGHGHGH Just wrote a whole bunch and it got deleted because I hit the wrong button. Okay. What I meant to write was:

      I definitely understand needing to step away. I have needed to step away from various blogs on at different times- sometimes came back, sometimes didn’t. So totally get that. But one thing I want to say is that I don’t think it’s an issue of logistics or circumstances. This is not a matter of childcare coverage or resources. This is a matter of my own mindset, and how I view my ‘to do’ list and my home and job responsibilities. I don’t know that things would be any different if I were home, or if we were still residents with a lot less flexibility on the $ front. But I do appreciate the comment and it is a good reminder to be grateful that I have the choices I do have.

  • Reply Omdg March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Sometimes I create a list of arbitrary must get done or else tasks, and the. I get frustrated because I can’t possibly finish them all, and I never get to rest. It’s been helpful for me to consider each task and think, "what would happen if I didn’t do this today/ever." Often the answer is not much. Then you can let go of some of it.

  • Reply Lily March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Sleep ins are wonderful 🙂 Something that I’ve been working on lately is being very conscious of the difference between
    morning A: planned to go to barre, felt overtired, hit snooze half a dozen times, skipped barre, felt guilty, told myself not to feel guilty cos I clearly needed the rest
    morning B: planned a sleep-in because I needed the rest. Slept in. Woke rested. Recommitted to barre next week.
    Pretty much the same use of time. Very different results.
    Same with:
    lunch A: realize that I forgot to bring a tin opener for my soup – realize that I’m absolutely sick and tired of the healthy and cheap soup I’ve been eating for lunch most days. Go for take out. Impulse eat too many fries. Feel guilty about eating fries.
    lunch B: plan lunch out with a friend for her birthday. Eat a lighter breakfast and run a bit further that morning. Thoroughly enjoy eating the fries. Recommit to healthy lunches tomorrow.
    I’ve noticed how taking intentional breaks stops me from taking accidental breaks and leaves me feeling nurtured and supported instead of harried – applies to all sorts of parts of life 🙂

  • Reply Lily March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Oh and by the way – just ordered some mildliners. Looking forward to an even more cheerful Hobonichi.

  • Reply Brittnie March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Stephen Covey has a saying "The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." Love this thought and it really has me thinking lately about purposefully scheduling in the things that I am passionate about and the things that bring me joy (which in turn makes me come alive as a mom, wife, friend, home manager etc). Seeing how diff I feel and act after taking the time for these things truly has helped me let go of all the other self imposed "to do’s" I put on myself everyday. Not that I totally ignore these other things but it allows me to not meltdown from stress – because I purposefully push them to another day. I know you know all of this – but just my random thoughts! 🙂

  • Reply beth March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I can definitely be a slave to the to do list and the "shoulds" of life. I find myself often thinking that if I can just get all of the my list done (and maybe some things from tomorrow’s list) then life will run smoothly with no bumps. I am a crazy over-preparer. Intellectually, I understand nothing can guarantee hassle free living (because it is not possible) but some crazy part of me always thinks that if I do enough I can get there. Lovely seemless flowing days where everything just goes perfectly because I did everything I was supposed to do. When I type it out it sounds ridiculous but I still find myself thinking like this all of the time.

  • Reply Catherine March 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Have you paused on meditating? I would encourage you to start that habit back up again. When I do it daily, it makes all the difference between days feeling like I’m experiencing life, and days where I feel like I’m just rushing through a giant, terrible checklist.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.