Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

From My Perspective: Taking a day off


Last updated 8/20/2020 at 12:25pm

This past week, I enjoyed not one, but two days off.

It's been awhile since I've had two in a row. It was glorious. I slept in, spent time with my other half and our pets at home. He and I got out briefly on the back of his motorcycle, and I spent a long afternoon in the saddle with my horse. For me, these days are treasures as they are so few and far between.

I'm working to change that. Everyone I meet reminds me how busy I am. And I am, but not nearly as busy as I was even three months ago. I'm choosing the things and the people I spend my time with very carefully. I'm choosing to slow down, and hopefully enjoy more days off.

I've recently started an online course called "A Year to Clear What's Holding You Back." Most people think it's about decluttering their lives, in terms of the "stuff" they accumulate, but what it actually is, is an opportunity to clear on a deeper level and peel away the layers of stress and stuff that have caused life to become so out of balance in the first place. It helps me lighten my load from the inside out, leading to lasting change.

That last part of the description of the class is really what "got me," so to speak. It's not like I haven't been busy before, and it's not like I've backed out of things when it felt too stressful. But, what has repeatedly happened in my life (and others who I know) is that it's a cycle that keeps happening over and over again. I always say I don't want to end up being busy, but sure enough, it's exactly where I end up time after time. It's almost insane.

There's a definition of this word called "insanity." It's the idea or process of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Sometimes people define insanity like a hamster wheel that we keep running and running on, thinking we can get off of. Well, I think it's time, at least for me, to get off the insanity wheel and start doing things differently.

Generally, I have taken things on because I feel that they are important. I've joined organizations, especially in town because I want to make a difference and do good things for where I live. Because I want good things for Lincoln, I find myself "talked-into" taking on more tasks, or just helping with more than I had anticipated. Everywhere I look, it's the same people in Lincoln on almost all of the organization boards, doing the work. And while that is probably a topic for another column, it bears mentioning that the same people cannot be expected to do it all, all of the time. My feeling is there are other residents who can step up a little so some of those vital people don't burn out.

I mean how can I, or anyone else, continue to live life the way we do, taking on projects, causes and belonging to organizations, and not take the time to do what's really the most important things in our lives. How can we continue to give to everyone else and expect to be okay ourselves?

This is where this online course has been helping me so much. It's just a little blurb or a small video each day that reminds me to take a step back, look at things, and then look a little deeper so I can release a little bit of physical and emotional clutter in my own life. One of the most eye-opening things of this course is seeing how my emotional clutter often has led to the physical clutter and how tied these two things seem to be.

The clutter, both internal and external, has truly been holding me back. Holding me back from a clean house, a clear mind and the balance I so dearly wish I had. As I make progress with my decluttering, I see new things opening up. I see things differently. I take the time to think about the things I want to belong to, the "busy-ness" levels, and where I want to head in the future. I don't know if this course has the same effect on everyone who takes it, but it has had a true and profound effect on me.

So, what's been holding you back? When do you feel like you've jumped back on that insanity merry-go-round that keeps you so tied town, so cluttered, so out of balance? What can you do about it? And when did you actually take some much needed time for a day off? If you haven't had one recently, I invite you to schedule one soon.

Yes, scheduling a day off sounds a bit crazy, but I've found if you don't plan for it, something will always get in the way. Schedule it, enjoy it, then enjoy more of them. Days off are important, especially for the soul.


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