My Zen · The Mollie Chronicles

The Alarm Clock Rings at 5:00

With so many thoughts rushing through my brain, I find it difficult to focus.

I get all these ideas and they circulate in different patterns and sequences and I find myself lost in my own thoughts. I have plans and goals. Big ones. And small ones. They all sound great in theory, when they first make themselves known to me. But before I realize it, my entire day has passed me by and I have accomplished none of those things. I feel like I have wasted time. I feel like I could have contributed so much more than I did. Subsequently, I feel guilty. I give myself a break and relax for the evening, then do it all over again the next day.

It seems that I am spinning my wheels. Day in and day out. With thoughts that never get put to paper. My theoretical list of the “things I wish I did” keeps getting longer and nothing gets crossed off. There is so much to be done; so much to be changed that I don’t know where to start. I have avoided the prioritization and organization because it appears scary.

It is time to face this fear head-on. It is time to take control of my happiness and life-satisfaction. No, I cannot control how my day actually transpires, but I can have a plan. And, I can choose how to handle the obstacles I receive.

Life does not allow us the time we may desire to do everything. It allows us time to work, spend time with family and friends and maybe have a couple of other hobbies. Sure, we could be the woman who does it all with 3 children at her heels, teaching fitness classes, writing books, reading literature reviews and working full-time. In my brain, the picture of life seems amazing. And doable. It feels accomplished.

That life is what I thought I could have. With a partner, and children. I don’t even have children and we aren’t yet married, but I already see the struggle with this ideology. Simply adding another person to my life has made me re-evaluate my priorities. It is not easy. It is often quite difficult.

Something has to give. There are only 24 hours in each day. We work most of that time frame, I add a workout in most days, we must eat and I enjoy conversations with my partner to close the day. That doesn’t leave much room for other things. So, to add more things, I need to take away other things. But what? Decrease my income? Not workout? Not eat? Not spend time with my loved ones?

Those are literally the 4 most important things in my life. I don’t want to give any of them up.

But I want to add so much more!

But then again, maybe it isn’t the things at all. Maybe its me. Maybe it is my own thoughts getting in the way of feeling accomplished.So I am here, once again, prioritizing the importance of things I want to do and things I should be doing. I have done it before, and I do well for a time, but then things seem to slip through the cracks and I am back into old habits: Spending too much time on Facebook, watching mindless television and not focusing my day on any sort of goal.

I read an article yesterday that I have read before…it was about how people that get up earlier are genuinely happier. One seemingly big part of that was waking up, having coffee, maybe taking a walk and not rushing through my morning routine. But the bigger part, was setting an intention for the day. If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you know that most often you are asked to set an intention for the practice; to keep it as a focus and to exist only in that moment.

Not surprisingly, I don’t practice it there very well either.

But to be fair, I haven’t spent a lot of time in the yoga studio lately. I just returned to classes a few weeks ago and make it 1-2 times each week. It’s a work in progress.

So, I want to get up earlier.

I know. I already get up at 5:30 nearly everyday. 6:30 on my days off. I might be crazy.

Or, I might be on to something. I have tried this before. Many times. All I can do is try again.

When we get up and rush out the door in 40 minutes, it sets the tone for our day as being very rushed. We haven’t had time to pause and enjoy the moment. It is all about moving forward to the end-game. What is that? Having dinner? Finding ourselves horizontal in bed to do it all over again the next day?

Personally, it leaves me exhausted at the end of the work day with little motivation on my days off.

I don’t enjoy that feeling. It leaves my entire day unfocused and I feel like I carry an energy around that I am not fond of.

Thus, get up earlier. Even 30 minutes. Make some coffee. Sit Down to eat breakfast. And perhaps, take even 10 minutes to write. Develop a focus, a gratitude, an energy for the day. Taking the time for myself. It is so important in my profession to be aware of self-care. I love my job. I love caring for other people. But I don’t always take the time to care for myself and that is absolutely essential in order for me to be successful at work.

I’d also like to get back to reading. Just as I have done before, I plan to make at least 15 minutes at the end of each day to reflect on my day, read a few pages or write some more. My hope is that in these moments I can organize the thoughts that have jumbled around all day long and find some clarity. To go to sleep with a clear mind. To be able to be fully present in the moment of sleep.

Life will be there tomorrow. So will the dishes. There are some things that are urgent. And some that are not. Prioritizing is key, at least for me. And telling myself its okay that I didn’t check off every box on the checklist is vital.

Stress is a continual and difficult fact of life. I am simply trying to manage it.

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