Just Breathe

12 Aug

First things first! The Winner of the All Natural Insect Repellent goes to Becky from Love Everyday Life! Thanks to random.org for generating a random number for me, that number being commenter Number Eight. Thanks to everyone who entered and be on the lookout for another giveway in October.


I’ve done it again.

I’ve totally overbooked myself. Between my final upcoming graduate school class, starting to train for a 10k, working more hours in the office, catching up with friends and family, devoting time to this little blog and all the fabulous friends I’ve met through it, VEDA, book clubs, being a good dog mama, and attempting to be good to myself, life is more than a little hectic. Add to that Round 10,000 of weddings starting in a few weeks and I’m just a tad bit stressed. Let’s not even add the fact that people think I should be dating (as if I have time and even if I did focusing on being me is exactly where I need to be) and ask me why I’m not married with two kids (because evidently that’s what I’m supposed to do).**

I know that I do this to myself. I’m a people pleaser; my life takes a backseat more often than not and I know that only I can control it. But I struggle with finding the balance between living my life for me and living my life for everyone else. I love to tackle new challenges but sometimes those challenges start owning my life when in fact, it should be the other way around.

There are days where I feel like I’m holding my breath… waiting. Waiting for October 15th when I’ll be free of school forever. Waiting for early 2011 when I’ll hopefully be fortunate enough to buy my own place and I can live along again. Waiting for a free weekend to catch up on rest, reading, quality time with the couch and Jack (as he’s severely lacking Dog Mama Cuddles right now).

It’s taking its toll on me, all this waiting and breath holding. I’m not sleeping well. I’m constantly on edge. I don’t remember the meaning of the word “relax.”

I know there is no point in wishing my life away, hoping for things to settle down because that’s not what life is all about. It’s about living in the here and now which I’ve been striving to do this summer amidst the chaos. It’s about being thankful for what you have; rather than curse my planner for being overly full I should be thankful for the people who call me their friends and the family who wants to see me. I should be glad that I’m able to go to graduate school and finally finish my degree two years later. And I am thankful, trust me.

Sometimes though I wish I could just shut the world out for a few days. Make all the noise in my head stop (I think too much; it’s like Times Square in my head somedays with all the thoughts zooming around) and just breathe.

While I’m teaching myself to just breathe again, I’ll be focusing on living in the here and now (not wishing my life away), paring down my schedule (by saying no to things I really don’t want to do), opening up some days on my calendar (to focus on things I do love) and allowing myself to relax.

What are your cures for an overbooked and frazzled schedule?

** Seriously, I’ve had several “Friends” ask me why I’m not married already which is both salt in the wound and frustrating! Yes, I want to get there someday but right now I need to continue to focus on me. I couldn’t imagine being in a relationship/the dating scene right now.


16 Responses to “Just Breathe”

  1. Kyla Roma August 12, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Lately I was wondering how you’ve been doing it all! :)

    My cure is what I call “hobbiting”, which is essentially taking my big giant, wide open running around life, and turning it into something that a hobbit would be comfortable with (I imagine that they’re more about relaxing and eating than I am lol). I just ramp down my schedule, pull out of the things that are adding to me stress, and focus on the things that I really need to invest in. It’s kind of lame, but when I’m really over booked it’s better for me to do that than for me to stay over extended.

    Usually an afternoon of just reading my favourite books will help me to reset too :)

  2. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair August 12, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    I tend to really “guard” my weekends and I’m really careful about making plans. Especially with the marathon training I NEVER make Saturday night plans and mostly don’t make Saturday-day plans. Friday nights and Sunday afternoons is it.

    I will fill up my WEEKS with social commitments after work and collapse into bed exhausted at the end of the day. But weekends are MINE!

    It will be October 15 before you know it!!

  3. mandy August 12, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    I’m feeling much the same way and I can start to feel myself shutting down. Stress from not knowing whether or not I will have a job in a few weeks is taking a major toll as well. Things are looking more grim with every passing day and I just want to know one way or the other so I can get on with life. I feel pulled in a million directions lately and its just not good. Sending you big hugs from Ohio. I think we’re both just going to remember to take deep breaths.

  4. Wonju Wife August 12, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Nora, you are incredible! I always admire people who actually fill up their schedules and DO things. I’m super protective of my time, not wanting to commit to things so that I can have time to read, or write, or SIT AROUND AND DO NOTHING. But really, I need to be a bit more like you and make plans and achieve things and work towards goals. How about we meet somewhere in the middle?

  5. Becky August 12, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Wahoo for winning the giveaway! (I’ll email you this afternoon to see what you need from me).

    I think overbooking is way easier to do than people think it is. Especially with you lately – with all the trips you’ve been on/are taking. Definitely good to sit back and be in the moment – I’m trying not to wish away days lately either. And October 15th is two months from Sunday – let the countdown begin!

  6. AshleyD August 12, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    I hate when I get that feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed out, so I completely understand this. My mom has been giving me a hard time for not hanging out with her lately, but I feel like I’ve been running in circles for a few weeks and I need some time to just be alone. That’s my cure. Alone time. A good movie. Good food. Exercising. Doing whatever I want. :)

    I hope life calms down for you soon!

  7. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns August 12, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Ugh, the ‘why aren’t you married’ question is so horribly rude. I mean, if someone is goign to ask that, you could respond by saying, “So, how is your sex life?” They are equally personal questions in my opinion!

    I am bad about over-scheduling and over-committing, too. I recognized it last year and try to only accept social plans on 2 nights of the week – ideally a weekend night & a week night. That way I could fill the other nights w/ things like school work, etc. now that I am done w/ grad school, I have eased my grasp on my schedule a little bit and say yes to more things, but it’s still a balancing act for me. I still struggle w/ saying no to things but I know that it makes me into a not-very-fun person if I over-commit….

    Hang in there! When you are done w/ school, it will help so much! And then owning your own place will be wonderful! So hard to be sort of ‘waiting’ for those life events to happen when you are so ready for them to happen NOW.

  8. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks August 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    You and I are a lot alike, my dear friend, Nora. And I can say from experience that my life has often mirrored (and currently mirrors) the insanity and intensity of your life. All I can say is enjoy it. Don’t fight it. Wrap your arms around it, embrace it, appreciate it. As you’ve said, it’s all good stuff. And varied. And spicy. And there will come a time (hello 4pm on a dark, winter day) when things will slow down. And then I’ll remind you to embrace the freedom. Because life is all about cycles and the key is enjoying each one instead of merely looking forward to the next one.

  9. Maddy August 12, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    I hear you loud and clear!! Right now, I’m working 3 jobs! My full-time, part-time and some photog gigs! I’ve barely had a chance to breathe and the summer is almost over. Just make sure to take some necessary time for yourself.

    BTW – Love Anna Nalick! Her CD was amazing :)

  10. Erin August 12, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Hugs. I totally feel you on the being overbooked right now. I really feel like there is just too much going on for me to keep my sanity. So much for a relaxing summer, I guess! Still, things will slow down eventually…they always do. Enjoy the amazing things you have going on right now. Love you! :)

  11. Tabitha August 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    It is so hard to keep up with yourself sometimes, isn’t it? I find myself devoting time to things that aren’t fulfilling me and neglecting things that would help me be a more peaceful, centered person. So…here’s to finding the balance. :)

  12. Jessica August 12, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    Oh dear, I know so much how you feel. I’m a pleaser too. I want to do everything with everyone all the time. At some point, you have to literally just say no and do something for you. It’s tough but you feel SO much better after.

  13. Lauren August 12, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    I can COMPLETELY relate to this post.

    I am finishing an internship next week and starting another in two weeks (I will be working at the restaurant to make money due to these unpaid internships in the interim). I have 17 credits next semester. I will have a 20-hour/week job on top of class and internship. I have trips to Chicago to see the boyfriend. An attic that is currently being turned into my bedroom. A new roommate moving in. Refinancing my house. Half marathon training. A dog who rarely gets to see me.

    Sometimes I feel like I can hardly breathe. It’s overwhelming and exhausting. Lately, it is a daily struggle to live in the moment. I want to live in the NOW and stop waiting for the future. But it seems impossible. The present is okay, yes. It’s not horrible. I know I’m blessed. But some days, it is just TOO MUCH.

    (Thanks for letting me vent for .2 seconds. Haha. Sorry to do it on your blog – that’s what happens when you don’t have your own blog anymore!)

    Tell those marriage whisperers to SHUT IT. In due time. Something like marrige is certainly worth the wait!

    Also, you’re a rockstar for getting everything done!! Keep it up!

  14. Elizabeth August 13, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    ‘Friends’ can be so annoying. I know.

    I think you’re amazing for even attempting to do everything all at once. I would have had a meltdown by now! My response to being flurried, when it happens, is to become a total snot (unfortunately) and close people out unintentionally. Hang in there!

  15. 20somethingrock August 13, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    I completely understand… I’m back into that “why aren’t you married?” question thing again (seriously, one of these days I’m going to fire back a “why the hell are you married to that huge giant loser? did you just not think you could find anyone better because of your heinous bedhead issue?” or something along those lines – not that I thought about it much or anything)… and then the busy crazy times… ugh – I was working 3 jobs in DC and now I’m just shutting down which is awful, but I’m just so tired, you know? But I know I get the most done when I’m super-busy so maybe that’ll happen…? I’ll cross my fingers for you!

  16. phampants August 13, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    The thrill of being overbooked, not enough time to do everything and the effect of having you out of breathe excites me.

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