There’s always one more thing to do. One more counter to wipe down. One more bag of trash. There’s always one more email to answer or one more article to read. One more picture to look at on Facebook. One more thing to write. One more piece to edit. One more text message that needs attention. One more light to turn off. To turn back on again.
“Hold on. Real quick. Just one more thing.” Always busy. Always moving, sorting, doing.
I set aside time every night to stop. To sit. To give into the quiet and the stillness. It’s important. My doctor told me so. I make the time. I work it in. Fifteen minutes. It’s all scheduled. All laid out perfect so I can get to bed by ten. Get up in the morning at a quarter to six. Constant lists of things to do. A month’s worth of runs and gym trips planned in advance. Coffee dates and grocery shopping. Showers and mascara application. It all has its special timeframe. I wonder what I end up missing. The things that would happen if I let myself just be. Just do nothing. Sit with myself and just breathe. Spontaneous peace.
Life gets distilled down to the things I’ve deemed worthy. A green screen. Only carefully crafted inclusions. There is no room for natural variance in lighting, an unexpected gust of wind. I have to get so much done every day. I cannot leave it to chance.
Stability and routine. Structure. I thrive on it. All the wheels get greased and all the cogs turn smooth. Checklists and agendas. Self-reported productivity. I lay down at night accomplished and fulfilled. But I wonder if I’m missing something by not leaving empty spaces. Wonder what could grow if I took the time to tend it without first picking the seeds.
A constant balancing act between too busy and the lethargy that comes from having nothing worthwhile to do. Push and pull. Ebb and flow. Couch-locked depression and feeling like I only get a chance to sit on the couch every other weekend. I stack the cards, knock them over, and stack them up again.
That’s all it ever is, isn’t it? Finding a line you can walk and tiptoeing gingerly. I only get scared when it seems to be working. When everything is getting into a rhythm and I feel myself settling into routine. The jolt that runs through your body right before you fall asleep. “Gah! What’s happening?!”
The real skill is to learn how to let myself be comfortable. To be comfortable being comfortable. Stop pulling back the bandage to make sure the wound is healing. Trust that everything is going along exactly as it should. There is no “right” way to do everything. Sometimes you just have to let yourself fall into the groove that works for you. Stop trying to improve, to reevaluate. Don’t try to fix this.
Listen, kid. If it ain’t broke you need to set it down and walk away.