"My calendar is pretty empty. I know I must get milk sometime within the next five days or so but that is about the extent of my social calendar. Oh, and I must donate blood the week after that. Busy month for me!"
Those are the words that I typed when I replied to my cousin's email at 6:52 on Saturday evening. Less than 48 hours later, I seem to have my week booked up. How in the world did this happen?
For one thing, it is simply because I am saying "YES" to life. Saying yes is better than the year I started saying no. Saying no took away the pleasure-factor immensely. But I believe that "NO" was where I needed to be to have the energy to push myself those very hard days.
Saying "YES" invigorates and depletes at the same time. I know that I have a high-need-for-solitude so I need to offset my yeses with equal time just-for-me.
Saying "NO" does exactly the same thing to me a lot of the time. The weekends where I cocoon myself from the world and do little more than nurture myself fill me up but they also deplete me of that spark that I feel when I am in the thick of living-a-full-and-balanced-life.
Therein lies the key. Balance. Perhaps that is why I have fallen into the 'party planner' role lately.
As The Planner, I get to pick and choose what I want to do and when I want to do it. I could not have started-what-I-started-last-week a year ago, two years ago or any-number-of-years-ago because I simply didn't have anything in me to give. I was empty and trying very hard to fill myself up.
When you are running on empty it is hard to run a marathon. When you look at the long road ahead of you and you cannot even see the end goal it is hard to focus on endurance. It is simply all about getting to the next filling station and hotel.
The important thing is to keep taking those forward steps. Even when they don't seem to be making a difference. They are. Even the time spent filling up and resting are giving you what you need to make it to the next step along the way. If you could live your life backwards you would know that each and every pit stop was essential.
Small, forward steps, rest stops, keeping hydrated and enjoying the journey are what it's all about.
It takes time to prepare and train for the marathons of life. We can't be running at top speed all of the time. It's hard on the body, mind and soul. Focus on endurance. There may be times when you need to sprint but you simply cannot keep up that pace all of the time.
Yes verses no. Run verses walk. Rest verses replenish. Balance.
I love my little life-as-I-know-it. The life where running out for milk and donating blood are the driving force of a week. It gives me time to say "YES! ... I will take in a dance class" and "YES! I am home and we will have a good visit while you are here" and "YES! I can do that for you" and "YES! Let's plan an adventure".
My calendar is still pretty empty. I like it that way. It gives me room to juggle priorities and put what needs to be nourished at the top of the pile.
But my empty calendar sure feels full...