It feels so good to be typing on this laptop.
For the longest time—twenty-six years, in fact—running was the only thing in the world that could clear my head. No matter how worked-up, pissed-off, or agitated I was, there was nothing six miles and a pair of headphones couldn’t fix.
Writing has proved to be the second thing that turns an amped-up me back to neutral. Now if only it burned more calories.
Last week I was very short on writing time. I was short on time, period. I think I wrote one blog post all week, even though several ideas ran through my head. When Friday hit, I could barely remember the week. It was as if Monday through Friday conjoined into one, and I couldn’t categorize which activities went with each day.
I hate that feeling. I hate feeling as though I missed out on an entire week because I didn’t take the time to stop and capture it.
We all have time, we just prioritize things differently.
Here’s another thing I hate (wow, this post got real fast): the word busy. I hate talking about it, I hate hearing about it. People, we’re all busy. We’re just busy in different ways. Some people are parents, some people work in investment banking and pull 90 hour weeks. When people claim they don’t have time because they’re too busy, they’re wrong. They have the time, they’re just not making something a priority.
I did not miss-out on writing last week because I was busy. I missed out on writing because I deemed it less important than the other 67 things I had to do. After all, I don’t get paid for it, it doesn’t keep me in shape (we established that already), and it’s certainly not a requirement for my daily life (if I have to choose between writing and brushing my teeth, it’s going to be the later).
It might not BE your top priority, but it might help you perform better AT that priority.
Right now, my job is my top priority. Walking into work with a clear head and a calm state-of mind helps me perform best at said job. Therefore, writing and running should be my top priority, because they keep everything else in line. When time is at a premium (which it often is) we need to make time for the things that make us feel happy, healthy, and excited to wake up each morning.
My friend Marla (who I’ve called Sunshine for as long as I can remember) is the happiest person on the planet. Therefore, I was shocked to the core when she told me she kept a gratitude journal. Why would someone who wakes up vomiting sunshine and rainbows need to keep a gratitude journal??
I always thought Marla was different because she was born happy. It’s not true. Marla is different because she makes happiness a priority—much more than the average person.
If working hard, making quick decisions, and staying calm under stress helps me be successful at work, then I need to step back and ask myself, “What things help me stay calm, focused, et cetera?” Working out and writing—the two sacred W’s—are those things.
Think of something you genuinely love to do. What makes you happy and proud, each time you do it? It could be anything: Baking cupcakes, painting, walking your dog, working in the garden, cleaning your apartment, walking four miles a day. Whatever your thing is, make that your top priority—even if it sounds ridiculous. If baking cupcakes makes you happy and stress-free, thereby making you a better wife, mom, coworker, what-have-you, then bake a fucking forest if you have to.
When we’re short on time, we have to focus on the things that help slow us down. Make those things your top priority, and I swear you’ll be fine.