I’m the person who says, ok, I have friends coming to visit in two months, lets undertake a room renovation in the midst of a super stressful job situation while taking a demanding online class, raising three pets, training for a winter race, getting really into trivia at my favorite brewery on Thursday nights while also trying to feed myself real dinners, brush my teeth and wash my face before bed and keep my house from descending into absolute chaos.
“I’ll do it on the weekends,” is what I told myself before I took the bedroom door off the hinges and started scraping at 100-year-old paint. “Things will calm down once we get to December and I’ll have lots of time.”
Now, looking back on poor, naive little me, I realize that I’m an idiot. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Sometimes I just don’t get it and what I didn’t get this year is that it is never, ever going to calm down. I kept squinting at the horizon thinking that once I got to this point or that point, it would be easier, more manageable, more doable, but no. Not this year.
Yesterday, it snowed. In fact, it snowed a lot, at least for Virginia in December. We got almost a foot of snow or, by my more precise measurement, we got snow up to the bellies of my not-small wolves.
Yesterday was supposed to be the day I did all the things and accomplished all the tasks and I did do some stuff. I painted the two walls I’ve been meaning to paint for the past two or three or maybe even four weeks. I took the dogs for a walk in the snow and got hit in the eyeball with lots of snowflakes. I scraped old paint from the baseboards while listening to a podcast called Wild Thing about Bigfoot. I wrote a rough draft of a paper for my course that was due four days ago. I watched more episodes of Riverdale than I’m willing to publicly admit. I read 27 pages of Heartland. I made turkey chili for dinner even though I really should have used two cans of tomatoes instead of one. I asked Alexa how much snow was on the ground, broke up one fight between the dog and the cat and thought really hard about doing all the other things on my to-do list and then just gave up, poured myself a glass of wine and turned Riverdale back on because IT SNOWED, you guys, and laziness is king on a snow day.
Sometimes I get self-congratulatory about the small bits of balance I’ve found and injected into my life. Look at me, I can travel with a five-item to-do list instead of a 26-page itinerary! And look, I am a person who strength trains and runs and does yoga instead of just running myself into the actual ground until my body literally starts falling apart! Yay! Balance!
And then there’s the rest of the time when I’m looking around trying to figure out when I’ll start feeling like an actual, for real adult and deciding that no, it will definitely not be on a snow day when I accomplish only about 40 percent of the stuff and things I promised myself I would accomplish.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that BALANCE IS STILL HARD.
Other things that are hard:
- Being nice to myself when I didn’t accomplish all the things on my to-do list even though it snowed 11 inches and there’s just so many episodes of Riverdale I need to watch.
- Explaining to people that yes, FOR REAL, I am an introvert, introverts can be friendly and loud and approachable and can talk in public while still really needing solo recharge time and liking the hell out of getting lost in the desert all by our lonesome.
- Not having a trip to the desert scheduled.
- My biceps (ha!).
I say nice things about being in my 30s all the time. It’s a gift, really, this point in life where I recognize my bullshit, call myself an idiot on the internet and try to do just a little, tiny bit better the next day. There was a point in my life where I felt certain I had it all figured out and now I’m certain that I absolutely do not have any of it figure out, that I still have a lot to learn, to uncover and, most especially, to balance.