“Each day should have a clearly marked emergency exit sign.”
– Dr. SunWolf
Whew. These past few weeks have been somewhat Stressful. (Yes, I capitalized stressful in that sentence. That word deserved a capital S in this case.) Between work stress, financial worries, worrying over a friend’s medical issues…it just seems like it has been one thing right after the other. And amid all the stresses, there have also been time-consuming good things as well – softball games, getting a house ready for renters, taking care of that precious new puppy of ours, watching my handsome son turn 16. All good things, of course, but whew….after a few weeks like this, I’m beat!
So, here I am (exhaustion-induced grumpy mood = check!) and suddenly it dawns on me. I know what I’ve been doing wrong.
I have let my 10-minute rule slip.
I have decided that there are a few things in my life that I absolutely love that are only about ME. Sure, I love spending time with my family and with that wonderful man I love, etc. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the things that are about and for me only. And for me personally, those things are acting, running, reading, and writing. (I’m guessing your list probably varies somewhat from mine.) When I’m doing those four particular things, I am doing them for me only. They are the fundamentals of what make me me. They are my escapes, so to speak. The places I go where I’m no one’s mother, sister, daughter, partner, employee, etc. I’m just doing what I want to do…the things that I feel make me a better person because I’m being true to myself.
Well, obviously I can’t spend all day doing these things. I have a job and responsibilities that I can’t neglect. But a while back, I made a promise to myself that in every given day, I would make certain that I spent at least ten minutes every single day doing one of these four things. A 10-minute soul tap, so to speak.
Now, luckily, I have four things on my list, so it shouldn’t be all that hard to find ten minutes in a day to do at least one of them. Now granted, I can’t just jump on a stage on any given day and act for 10 minutes (I know some community theatres that would frown upon someone just showing up and doing a random 10-minute monologue during a performance), but I can pick up a book and read for ten minutes, right? That doesn’t require any special circumstances…just a book and some downtime. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?
Well, it’s not. And these past few weeks have proven it.
I have not posted on this blog in two weeks. Two weeks. I think this may very well be the longest stretch of time I have gone without posting since I started this thing in February 2012. Not only that, but I haven’t been working on my novel either. (It’s starting to feel like I may possibly have an eight-chapter novel with a horrible ending sitting on my computer for the rest of my natural life.) My running has been very sporadic (too much on my mind to dedicate the time I needed to it), I’m not involved in any theatre shows at the moment, and I’ve been carrying around a book that I have barely cracked open at all.
And you know what? It shows.
I’m stressed. I’m grumpy. I’m overwhelmed. And, of course, I’m no doctor by any means, but I wonder if maybe skipping that 10-minute rule of mine has something to do with that? I’ve forgotten to “take my medicine.” Forgotten my soul tap. Forgotten to check in with me. Is that really why things have felt so haywire lately? Heck, I don’t know. But I don’t think I want to roll the dice anymore. I think it’s time to pick it back up and stick to it this time.
It obviously can’t hurt anything, right?
Anyone else out there need to implement your own 10-minute rule? Hey, who knows? It may be just what the doctor ordered.
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
– Chinese Proverb