I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me lately. I used to be really good at scheduling 37,000 things into my week. At one point in University I worked two on-campus jobs; took 4 courses (two with labs); was on the Board of Directors for an organization, chaired one of their committees, and sat on two other committees; was a volunteer academic adviser; worked with the Welcome Week teams doing events throughout the year; did classroom public speaking for a few organizations; AND I managed to marathon Buffy the Vampire Slayer in it’s entirety and workout 3 times a week.
Man, I was on fire that year.
I was living in a little basement apartment that year, with a giant bedroom with no closet. My roommate would either cook ALL the protein at once, or lock himself in his bedroom while he was home so I didn’t have to deal with him much. It was almost like having my own apartment, since my room was the size of a small bachelor. To keep my schedule straight I had a 4 month dry-erase calendar, a 1 month dry-erase calendar, a day planner, a daily to-do list, a weekly to-do list, and a monthly overview list. I was so freaking happy that year.
These days, with my dumpster fire of a life, it seems like I just have so much piling up and I can never catch up. I still keep a day planner and a wall calendar, but not like I used to. I still make my lists, but now a lot of them are lists of lists I need to make. I used to use lists for motivation, now I can’t even get motivated enough to make a damn list.
For a long time I thought there was just something wrong with me. I had been so motivated before while I was a student, and now it just seems like I can’t get anything done. So I took a look at what was different about what I needed to get done. Back then, it was deadlines. I always had a few dozen looming deadlines, whether it was school work or grading papers or committee presentations. These were all things that were expected of me, things that others were relying on and keeping track of.
Back then it was “go go go” with a purpose. I was running my ass off going crazy because it was things that had to get done. There were other people involved, and my missing a deadline could severely impact them. If I didn’t get my part of a group project done, that effected my entire group. If I didn’t get papers graded on time, then students grades wouldn’t be posted in time for them to sign up for their next classes. If I didn’t get that committee presentation done before the meeting, what the hell would we be doing in the meeting? Everything seemed dire.
Now? I don’t have anywhere near as many things that are that “dire” for other people on my plate. I still make it to work, put in my shift, keep the rest of the house clean. Again, it’s the things for everyone else that gets done.
But what about me?
When it comes to me, I put me off. I will have no issues sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, and wiping down the rest of the house. But when it it comes to my room? I don’t have the giant room I once had before, and everything is just sort of crammed in there. It’s a cramped, disorganized disaster of a room. I’ve made half a dozen lists of things to do to get that room in order, but why bother with that when I can sweep and mop empty rooms that we might rent out someday? I know I need to Marie Kondo the ever-living crap out of my room, but I just never get around to it.
Even when I’m not replacing tasks with stuff for other people, I still put me off. I know I really need to stretch and do some exercises every freaking day. I’ve put on some weight over the years, my knee sounds like Rice Krispies when I walk thanks to falling out of too many trees while drinking (that’s a long story), and I’m not ridiculously flexible like I used to be. But why do that when I could read 27 pages of Not Always Right? I have lists of motivational lists to make to get my ass in gear, but instead I’ll fall asleep on the couch watching old Vines on repeat.
For some reason, when it comes to doing things for myself I just sort of blow myself off. I’ve spent so much time not taking care of myself, that I forget how to. I know, I know, I’ve preached so much damn “self care” in the past I should be an expert on this. But I just can’t seem to get my shit together when it comes to me.
I grabbed a book from the library yesterday that I’m hoping will help (because the cure for everything in my life is either in a bottle or a book). It talks about how we used to have these things called “weekends” back in the day. Even as a student, I had weekends. Yes, I worked on stuff throughout them, but on my terms. I may have to spend a Sunday witting on my bedroom floor surrounded by research and notebooks, but Saturday would’ve been spent at the beach and drinks at the frat house to make up for that. I always took time off for me, and had some sort of discernible weekend. There were no classes for me on Saturday or Sunday, 95% of my volunteer work was during the work week, and my friends’ fraternity only threw keggers on weekends. There was always that solid block of time to look forward to.
Now? Well, somehow I got two days off last week, thanks in part to my twisting my back until it didn’t want to work for me anymore while I was cleaning out A’s room yet again. With that, my work week officially started last Friday, making this day 6 of at least 11. I don’t have my book job schedule at all for next week yet, so I have no clue when I’ll ever get a day off again. Even if they’re short shifts, working every single day wears me out. This book is supposed to help with the “all-work-no-fun” rut I’ve thrown myself into. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t even look at apartments anymore, even though living with the X is driving me insane (literally, my anxiety is ridiculous half the time).
But first, I need to look a little harder at why I keep blowing me off and push myself harder to do things for me again. I’m starting with a trip to Dollarama after work (I know, my life is so thrilling!), and then cooking a real meal tonight. I’ve been existing on McDoubles lately (and yes, I gave away another one in a sad attempt at flirtatious conversation that failed miserably). I’m grabbing some horror movies from the library after work, and I’m going to force myself to put one on while I stretch, read, and maybe work on those motivational lists I’ve been making lists of.
How the hell else do I get myself out of this rut and start doing things for me again?