Recently the Autumn Equinox passed (or Spring Equinox for those in the Northern Hemisphere) and it got me thinking about balance in life. At this point you may be wondering ‘why is she writing a blog post?’ (I’m not really sure actually) or ‘why is she writing a blog post that is completely unrelated to the topics of this blog?’ (because I can – sue me).
It was a perfect last remains of summer/beginning of Autumn day, it was warm but not humid and the autumn leaves are starting to fall. For those who don’t know, the Equinoxes occur twice a year and are the only times when there is an equal amount of daylight and darkness. It’s a time when the Earth is in perfect balance and it’s the perfect in-between winter and summer weather. For me it’s a time that always makes me think of balance in my own life, so I decided to make a list of Equinox Resolutions.
It almost makes more sense to me to make a resolution at the equinoxes rather than the start of the year. Sure we work on the idea of finishing a year and beginning with a whole new one as a good time to make resolutions, but for me the Equinox is a more powerful time for reflection away from all the end of the year/new year festivities.
At the moment I’m feeling like I’m taking a lot on – and I mean a lot. At the top of my head I am working full time, doing five hours a week of freelance work, running two meetup groups and taking Japanese lessons. I also live independently and have a strong focus on being neat and healthy – i.e. cooking a nutritious meal most nights and waking up to a clean kitchen.
I keep feeling like I need more downtime, but I struggle so much to say ‘no’ to people and when I look at all the things I’ve committed to – I honestly can’t choose one thing that I want to stop doing. I enjoy my work, finally learning Japanese and love my Meetup groups despite the feeling of being overwhelmed it can cause me.
This week I’m working really hard on my freelance work, I essentially come home from work, watch a dumb game show and then start work again at 6 for an hour or two. This has meant that I’m intimidated by my Japanese homework that needs to be done on Friday, and know I have to do it in my lunchbreak.
Somehow I am managing to keep all these balls in the air (at least for the time being) but I’ve tried really hard to come up with a list of Equinox Resolutions to help me not take on anything else.
Say ‘No’ more often
(This week I have actually managed to successfully do this, my boss asked me to write some copy for his parents real estate ad – and kindly offered a $50 gift card if I did it for him after hours. Even though I was more than happy to do it, I told him I simply didn’t have the time because of my current freelance commitments. He told me that was no problem, and actually changed his mind and said I could do it during work hours if I wanted – almost like I was rewarded for sticking to my resolution of saying ‘no’ 🙂
Have more ‘no plan’ weekends
(I’ve been feeling the pressure lately to catch up with people I haven’t seen for ages, or say yes to every social invitation that comes my way – I think there’ll be a lovely pleasure in having nothing planned every now and then)
Make more time for me
(I haven’t exercised properly in 12 months, besides a few at home yoga classes and meditation. I know it’s not enough and I do miss regular exercise. I don’t need to be running marathons, I just need to move more to keep those stress hormones down)
I hope I can stick to my goal and that things will settle down, I also have to challenge the guilt trip that comes when I ask for help or tell people I need to stop a commitment. This is just how my personality seems to be formed, I don’t like disappointing people or missing out on things – and I feel guilty about it. But I’m trying hard to stop this! 🙂
What do you do when you’ve taken too much on? Is it a natural part of being a grown up and realising there’s not enough time to do everything? Do you happily just quit things when they become too much or wait until it starts affecting you mentally/physically?