Sunday, September 20, 2009

Can a simple life also be a busy one?

In my day job (and sometimes night job) I am a marketer for a software company. I’m one of three people on the marketing team and most days, my job feels anything but simple. There are so many moving pieces. So many things I’m trying to keep up with.

This sounds a bit like my life outside of work as well. Case in point: A few days ago, I was telling my VP of HR about my new blog, which included mentioning the title. I quickly moved on to tell her that I had two shows (with my band) coming up that weekend and the following week I would be in the studio two weeknights working on a CD. She knows that I’m also in the process of selling my house and moving and is very aware of the work I’m doing at the company.

She started laughing. And it only took me a few seconds to figure out why. She saw the irony: I’m writing a blog about simplifying life and yet I have so much going on (including writing my blog!). My life can sound pretty complicated when I talk about everything I’m doing.

How does all this activity fit with my goal to simplify? Good question. I’m naturally a person who can do a lot at the same time. I’ve always gotten comments from others about the amount of things I take on. And I’ve typically been able to recognize when I was doing too much. Emotional breakdowns can be very telling. That's a joke (kind of).

Here’s a thought: Maybe simplicity in life doesn’t mean doing as little as possible, but instead, making sure you are choosing to do what’s most important to you.

I don’t have children and that’s a big part of why I have the time to pursue the things I do.  But even so, I find that there is always one more thing that “has” to be done.  Last night I told my husband, “I just need to write a few emails” and promised we would watch a show together. But two hours later, I was still on the computer because I’d discovered about 10 other things that I really “had” to do. Fortunately he was fast asleep on the couch so no harm done there. Phew!

Am I trying to do too much? Probably. Maybe all those super stressful dreams I’m having should be an indicator. I suppose that just because we can handle a lot doesn’t mean it’s good for us to do so, huh? We have to be careful not to unknowingly burn ourselves out in the process.

BUT (and that’s a big but) part of sucking the marrow out of life (which I want to do) is getting involved in life. Making things happen.  It feels good to make things happen, doesn’t it?  I love all of the activities I’m currently involved in (my family, my work, my band, my blog, etc.) and am looking forward to some I recently committed to (being the co-chair of a marketing committee and  helping a friend start a book club for professional women).  Will I run myself ragged trying to do all of these great things? I certainly hope not. As I write this tonight, I’m thinking that slowing down just a little might be a good idea.

I’m putting a lot on this upcoming move (let’s hope it actually happens!). I’m counting on the simplicity that apartment living brings and the fact that I will get almost eight hours back per week (wow!) with my almost non-existent commute. It will be easy for me to use that time up with everything I listed above. My challenge is to figure out how to make sure to save a little time to do one very important thing on occasion: absolutely nothing.

1 comment:

  1. What a good question! This is something I ask myself as well, but obviously, life hasn't really slowed down!