Reflections

Hi Mom (yep, pretty sure you’re still the only one that reads this), 

I figured it was time for another post! Yes, it’s true! I survived my very first commencement season and lived to tell the detailed tale. (The details will not be posted here because I’m sure no one wants to read about commencement.)

I’ve been in a very reflective mood the last few days. Perhaps it’s because I’ve had free time for the first time in months. Perhaps it’s because I spent two solid, joy-filled days with my elderly friends this week. Perhaps it’s because of the loss of a really good family friend last week. Perhaps it’s everything.

I’ve been feeling quite bogged down with life over the past few months, if you hadn’t guessed by my whiny rants on Facebook and in person. While I like my new job (if any of my new colleagues are reading this, I promise you, I do like it! It’s just… new.), I don’t like the person I seem to be becoming in result. I work way more hours than I would like to, and yet I can’t seem to stop. My work laptop is seemingly attached to my lap at all hours of the day and night. (And if it’s not my work laptop, it’s my trusty Mac.) I can’t stop thinking of all of the things I need to process and improve and explain- and all of the things I feel I need to do to prove myself in this job that apparently is my first “real adult” job. I don’t even have time to take a proper trip! There’s so much work and so much responsibility. Part of that is life-giving, and part of it is horrifying and makes me want to curl into the fetal position. I survived one round of layoffs just to hear that there’s going to be another in the fall. 

I’m stressed all the time! I never wanted to be a workaholic. I finally got a chance to safely take a few days off without disturbing my systems and processes too much, and I enjoyed them to the fullest by going to the fifth annual Sassy Stepper convention. …Ok, ok, I only call it a convention to make it sound cooler than it is. Really, it should be called the Sassy Stepper sleepover, because 30 of us sassy ladies (plus Dick and Mike) take over the casino with our shenanigans and hooliganism for two rambunctious days.

I have probably talked about my line dance ladies more than you care to read about, but tough cookies! This is my blog! Neener neener neener!

There honestly is no good way to explain my line dance community; I’ve tried time and time again. Essentially, having 20+ elderly friends is like having 20+ grandparents and crazy great aunts and uncles, who tell you hilarious stories about the trouble they’ve gotten into over the years, give you gruesome details about the numerous surgeries they’ve had or will have, and reflect upon the hardest parts of life. Some have very recently lost their husbands and are still raw from the pain. Some are slowly slipping into Alzheimer’s disease. Others, like Lil, are skiing, hiking and kayaking well into their 70s (or maybe their 80s? Classy ladies never reveal their age, and I’m too polite to ask). Either way, they’re way more active than I am, and I haven’t even hit 30 yet.

And then, of course, there’s Monica. She’s my twin (plus 45 years. I know her age- she’s not too classy). We have the same hair, had the same glasses until I got this hipster pair, and are basically the same person. I convinced her to drive my car home after our sleepover, and we got hours of quality time together, plus a posh lunch at the Village Inn with Norma, Elaine, Judy, and Jan.

And you know what I learned in that time? My priorities are all wrong these days. Since starting this new job (well, let’s be honest, even before that, too), all I really do is work, dink around on the Internet, sew and cross-stitch, and eat junk food. (Oh, hey! No wonder my clothes don’t fit! No wonder all recent pictures of myself make me cringe.) This isn’t what I want. I feel like I’m stuck in a rut and have been for about a year. 

I read a really thought-provoking article the other day, in which the author muses about her decision to unplug from the Internet – and the busy trap we all fall into – on the weekends and even in the evenings. (And yes, if you didn’t click on it, it is a wedding blog. Yes, I dislike weddings. Yes, I still read some wedding blogs. Two, to be exact. Yes, I am a paradox.) She discusses her need to create space between her work life and other life, for her sanity, for her family, and for the fact that this crazy need to be constantly connected is the new normal for a lot of us. Months and months ago, I thought about doing something similar. I’m pretty sure I even made it a New Year’s resolution. Oops. 

But what if I did it? What if I tore myself away from the computer from time to time? I realize this isn’t an issue that everyone has, but it’s one that I’ve faced for about 15 years, when we first got our very first AOL disc with 10 hours of free dial-up access at home. You see, I’m a librarian. An information junkie. I crave new information all the time. I crave learning about ways to be more creative and awesome and efficient. But what good does it do me if I spend all of my time pinning ideas to Pinterest or reading blog posts of people who are more creative and awesome and efficient than I am, and not actually living?

When I turn 72 and have a 27-year-old best friend (yeah, it’ll happen), I don’t want my stories to be about that one time when my Facebook status got 49 likes, or all the times I fell asleep with the lights on after getting home from work after yet another 14-hour workday. I want my stories to matter. Maybe that’s why I keep up this blog, even though my mom is the only one that reads it. Maybe it means that someday, I’ll read these and remember the journey.

Maybe I need to start doing more things that will be worth remembering.

 

 

 

 

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3 responses to this post.

  1. You make an excellent point. I’ve been reconsidering my life choices lately and I realize I have to stop being afraid and just go for it. I keep saying I don’t want to do something because it will take forever, but then I keep coming back to wanting to do it really badly and I only put off further into the future.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Elisabeth on June 28, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I would be happy to go on some adventures with you anytime! I am ever ready to gallivant around the city with you!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Kim on June 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    In the same boat over here girl. I’m having serious worries that I’m not living the life I want to be living. All those warnings that “life is short” is freaking me out – but I don’t know how to feel satisfied.

    Reply

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