I find it hard to not be productive. I prefer to be ‘doing something’ because I hate feeling I’m wasting time. But I also have the added problem of being someone who needs to plan ahead. I need to know what I’m going to do, or nothing will get done, and I’m left feeling like shit. That’s when I do waste time on stupid time-wasting stuff (mostly the dreaded Facebook or internet rabbit holes), which makes me feel even more shit, and so the spiral goes on. I need to have my day planned to fit in as much as possible, and when I fall short on that, I feel like the day has been wasted. No pressure there, then.
But today. This is the first time I’ve had a full week’s annual leave this year, and for the first three days of it, I have no plans. And knowing that I had no plans left me feeling pretty edgy last night. That fear that I’ll spend all day getting ready, reading crap on my phone, getting nothing done, left me on the verge of a panic attack. Somehow, though, I managed to over ride this, to tell myself that I’m on holiday, I’m allowed a day off to just be, and do whatever the hell I like. I’ve worked hard these last three weeks and I deserve a break.
And that’s how today has panned out. But what’s most surprising is that it hasn’t been a waste of time. Yeah, I took longer to get organised in the morning, but when I have nowhere I need to be, does that matter? I went to the gym. I did some work with a barbell for the first time ever, because usually I stick to my ‘gym script’ and I do the same exercises I’d normally do. I edited a story and printed it off, ready to be sent to a magazine. And yes I fell down an internet black hole a couple of times, I neglected to do the dishes (which is weighing on my mind but I’m handling it), and I only went outside to get from house to car to gym to car to house. But it’s raining, so that’s OK.
Ultimately though, stopping and thinking about how slow and easy – yet unintentionally productive – today has been, inspired me to write this blog post. On a blog that I have neglected since the end of last year. As I took a photograph of my coffee for no other reason that I liked how serene and comforting it looked, I realized I was itching to write this. I wanted to blog. I have not wanted to blog for a long time, and it felt like connecting with a part of me that I had forgotten. It was like going back in time, grabbing this piece of myself and pulling it close, returning it to the whole.
Weird, but that’s the only way to describe it. I don’t know how long I’ll be back for, but right now I’m loving typing these words. It’s funny – when we slow down and take the pressure off, we allow space for new things to bloom and for old treasures to be unearthed.