Wasting Time

PC: GettyImages

This month we are talking about waste and while we are focusing our attention on the “green” side of waste, I keep thinking about time and how NOT to waste it.

Perhaps it’s because with each passing month, this year seems to gain momentum and after the last year it feels like we are somehow behind the curve ball. Regardless of the why, I have learned to pay attention when something  keeps popping up.  So what is it about time that has me worried about wasting it?  

Maybe it’s about this last year and how sometimes it feels like we lost it or that we didn’t get to live it to its fullest at least.  It feels like we need to make up for something we didn’t get. We are all just running around trying to play catch up and do enough “stuff” for two years. The irony is that while I feel like we need to do all the things, see all of the people and never say no to an invitation it often feels exhausting at the same time.  It’s not as invigorating as it once was.  I feel like perhaps I was secretly an introvert all along and lockdown brought out my true identity.  Does anyone else feel this way?  A weekend wedding full of family and friends feels like it needs a week of recovery.  I am tired and find myself suddenly pulling back when we we try to schedule too much. This isn’t how things used to feel.

During lockdown, I couldn’t wait to get out of my house and back to friends and travel and now that we can go do whatever, I feel hesitant.  No, it’s not about vaccines and variants, it’s about feeling tired.  Over the weekend, I literally went to bed at 10pm while family was still visiting because I had a headache and couldn’t listen to anyone talk anymore.  I find myself retreating to quiet spaces and enjoying the silence, but then I fear I am wasting precious time. 

G talked about not just living, but reaching for something better, earlier this week.  That sounds great and honestly I always want to strive to be better, but I know a lot of us are just hoping for normal or average right now.  I know that sounds terrible and depressing and maybe it’s my lack of carbs that have me less than enthusiastic, but seriously some days and weeks are just hard.  Is it just me, or does anyone else get overwhelmed with people? Our neighbors have lived next door to us for probably 10 years.  We aren’t friends, but we speak to one another.  Some days I don’t think I can bare to share a fence with them one more day let alone make conversation about our dogs that are barking at one another.  I’m not being dramatic. This is actually how I feel right now.  I need a DO NOT DISTURB sign for the perimeter of my home.  Do they sell that on Etsy because apparently the HOA frowns upon fencing your entire property line with a 10 foot fence and a locked gate out front of your 1/4 acre lot.

Sidenote:  I am visiting my oldest daughter and son-in-law to be in Arkansas this week.  On more than one occasion they have suggested that we could just move down here to be closer to them.  While I do love their 6 foot fence and inability to see their neighbors, um, NO.  Have any of you experienced an Arkansas Summer?  No, thank you.  When google greets you with a temperature of 93, but says it feels like 110 you know this is not a place you want to reside and let’s not even discuss the actual 3 foot snake we nearly stepped on during our early morning hike.  So, thank you, but no thank you.  I will stay in Colorado where the humidity is a whopping 12% on it’s worst day and there are no bugs. I promise to visit in the fall and winter.

Where was I?  Yes, wasting time.  I don’t want to waste any time.  I don’t want time to stop or go slow, I just want the hyper speed in which we seem to be moving to just maybe slow it’s roll a tiny bit.  I just want to spread things out a little more evenly so I can fully enjoy all of it. This is all wishful thinking though because it’s not going to slow its roll.  We have something every single week until basically Thanksgiving. They are all awesome and amazing things; weddings, football games, moving our last daughter out of our home and into her first apartment, a weekend with friends, our daughter’s wedding followed by two more weddings the following weekends.  Like I said, amazing fun, but how do you prepare for such a marathon of gatherings with people? How do you enjoy it all deeply without wishing it over?  How do you not waste a single precious moment with these people that you love and miss and enjoy immensely without also losing your mind just a tiny bit?

The short answer is that I have no idea.  The long answer is that I am going to do what G suggested and live it up fully.  I am going to reach for my best self and do what I said I was going to do back in lockdown and enjoy every minute of whatever is happening.  Easier said than done, but all of our big events are on the weekend, with the exception of our daughter’s wedding, which will be a week-long extravaganza of family and friends.  What this means is that I have days to come down from each weekend celebration.  I have days to workout, eat healthy, sit in solitude and be grateful for all of our friends and family.  I have days to focus on the joy of each event rather than lament how quickly it’s all passing.  I have days to rest so that I can be fully present at the next event rather than feeling exhausted and overwhelmed at the thought of socializing.

What I have begun to realize is that I am an extroverted introvert.  It’s true.  It took lockdown for me to truly see it, but I have all the signs of someone who thrives in social situations, but also wasn’t that bothered by a long stretch of having to stay home. Large gatherings and social situations are my jam until they aren’t.  When I need to stay home for a day and not respond to text messages, phone calls or really any kind of human contact it’s not just what’s best for me, but for you, too. I promise.  Also, what I am discovering is that it’s not wasting time, it’s just doing the necessary time for me to reset.  

We have over one third of our year left. That statistic actually feels better than if I think about it being back to school season or fall. That perspective helps me to realize that while two thirds of our year have passed, we’ve done a lot. We’ve enjoyed many weekends in the mountains, spent time with friends, taken several trips to see family, been helping to train a puppy that will hopefully be moving out with our youngest daughter and are preparing for a big wedding. Life is being lived well and time has not been wasted.

Soak it all in, take time to reset, focus on the positive and be grateful for any and all invitations that you get. You’ve got this!

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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