On The Agenda

I have been working hard to find that right balance in my life; the right amount of socializing and alone time.

I love to say yes to things that are exciting, or interesting, or informative. Sometimes a bunch of said things are happening ALL AT ONCE OMG YAY! but as I love through it I get burnt out. I am not excited about these things and I dread them and want to live in my bed for a day or two.

Other times, I make sure not to plan anything, to give myself the space to recharge but then I get lonely and feel isolated and nobody-likes-me-and-there’s-nothing-interesting-happening-and-why-would-I-even-wear-anything-other-than-the-same-sweatpants-I’ve-had-on-all-week?

This is a problem I’ve identified over and over in my life and have been trying to ‘work on it’ to varying degrees of success for some time. I feel like I’m finally coming to a nice balance and I want to put out how I’ve done so far, and steps I still want to take.

Things that have worked:

  • I don’t make plans with people because I feel like I “should” but do if I feel like I want to.
  • Related to the above: If I have made efforts to spend time with friends and they can not give me that time, I leave the ball in their court. They are in charge of their priorities and I’m not going to stress about it.
  • I quit volunteering for organizations that don’t utilize my energy in productive ways.
  • I co-organize regular events in my home. They are the same events and run about once every 5 weeks and so are easy to plan and organize after the first few were done. It’s low-stress and a nice way to socialize within specific event-specific boundaries.
  • I leave some space in my schedule for down-time.
  • Really think about what are tasks that are NECESSARY

I was thinking today that I have been on a mostly-good stretch for a couple weeks now and there are only a few little things that I would have changed and so my thoughts have turned to how I can make those specific situations better for me.

One of the things I need to work on is gracefully leaving situations that I’m just Done With, this is easy in some circumstances (like, I can leave a party, no problem) and more difficult with others (telling unexpected visitors that they need to leave now, or maybe I could just go hide in my room until my housemates deal with that? I don’t know).

Another thing I was thinking about was Shawn and his agenda. If he doesn’t enter his obligations in there, they get forgotten and I rib him about it sometimes. But I shouldn’t do that. I mean, I do all my scheduling via my phone’s calendar. It puts all the events I confirm via facebook, and my google calendar, and my work calendar. It’s so handy! But I need to look at my time spent a bit more analytically. I’d love to get a really real paper agenda and write in the things I actually do and also to note in there any time that I am feeling like it is just TOO MUCH (things that feel like chores instead of pleasures) and also to note when I am feeling too isolated.

I like this idea. It MAY have to do with the idea of having a beautiful, colour-coded archive of how I spend my time… but I also think it would be quite the useful tool.

What do you do to achieve a good balance in your life? What are your metrics for ‘balance’ anyway?


On this day:

In 2012 – this post kind of illustrates one of my overwhelmed times
In 2008 – I should more often make crepes
In 2007 – proof that I used to be an avid gardener
In 2006 – “I also noticed that I’m practically incapable of remembering the names of characters in movies unless their names are repeated incessantly.”
In 2005 – really nothing interesting

2 Comments on “On The Agenda”

  1. KG says:

    This is a big part of my life right now.

    I decided that 2014 would be about me focusing on my artwork and “wasting less time”. To me, I’ve been feeling a LOT of guilt for “wasting time” socializing, drinking, overindulging.

    Focusing harder on artwork also pushes me further and further away from the things that cause me guilt. In this experiment so far, I have found that I have zero FOMO (fear of missing out), and I actually want to be alone even MORE because I really enjoy putting my head down and honing my craft.

    So, now I’m feeling ultra comfortable with my routine, yet a bit anxious that I will lose my friends because I’ve become so quiet. I also feel really uncomfortable and over stimulated in big loud situations (parties, clubs, bars) and feel I have to leave. What’s happened to me!?

    Biggest question is, is this a permanent change?

  2. I’m there with you! I find balancing all of the varying aspects of my life to take a lot of energy. Sometimes I too want to bury myself a hole and just abandon all commitments. Dan and I have a shared Google Calendar that is synched with our phones – so we always know when there are things going on that will affect the other.

    I learned this week that setting reminders that go off the day before the appointment might be more effective than just leaving the default. I missed A2’s doc appointment this week, and only realized it when I got the reminder 10 minutes before, which was not very useful as the doctor’s office is 30 minutes away!

    Achieving a good balance is about being mindful of what’s going on and how you’re feeling about it. Allowing yourself to cancel plans when things are getting overwhelming. Also about being grateful for what you have. The past couple of weeks I’ve been lamenting how little time Dan and I have for intimacy with the 2 littles. I had to come to terms that our ‘together time’ now also involves the little guys and to try to enjoy it. They won’t be so tiring forever!

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