There are many misconceptions about the type A personality. Take me for instance. I'm a hard charging type A but I'm far more introverted than people realize. I can turn it “on” and go almost indefinitely. Until I stop. And then it's like my husband always jokes; I have two speeds--sixth gear and off. No idle. No second gear. No moderation.
The end of the school year always brings out the extremes in my personality, this brakes/gas thing I have going as my family likes to say. My calendar is in maximum overdrive and I'm good with that until I'm not. Sometimes I’m blessed with a warning light when my tank is running low. Today was one of those days.
As I was standing at the office supply store watching thirty five pounds of paper I purged from my life bite it at the hands of the cross cutter, it dawned on me that I'm tired. It's been a long week and I've had multiple things vying for my attention every day. Between that and the rain crashing into the windows at night making me think someone is throwing marbles against the glass and the lightning putting on a laser show that wreaks havoc on my photo sensitivity, I haven't been sleeping well. Poor sleep is a wicked tonic to throw in to the too busy cocktail. So this afternoon I tossed my schedule to the wind and drove to the spot where I go when I need to let the world disappear.
My spot isn't far from home but it's incredibly special. It's a place I’ve found myself at various points when I need to cry, laugh, celebrate, pray, mourn, or just stand in awe. One time I even went for the sole purpose of screaming out loud. Today I just wanted to sit and be quiet and my spot is perfect for that. My world has been so noisy as of late sometimes I honestly can’t hear myself think. Today I needed time to not worry about anything or feel anxious about anything or wonder about my calendar or the laundry or the grocery list or AP finals or the schedule for junior year or my time commitments or even the type of person I've let myself become over the last year. I’m constantly checking a list and analyzing my scorecard and for a few minutes today I needed to not think. To not grade myself as a wife, and a mom, and a daughter, and a sister. As a friend, a coworker, an artist, a boss, a student, or even as a volunteer.
While it would be easy to look at my spot and think it has something to do with nature, that’s not it. While I’m aware of the birds and the squirrels and the creek when I let myself pay attention to those things, I'm also able to tune all of that out and just be when I step off the path. The truth is, I think it’s the trees. There are times I need to get out of my habitat and in to someone else's. Not being able to see the trees for the forest slows me down.
I was only off the clock for eight minutes today but they were a quality eight minutes and it was just what I needed to reset myself for a busy afternoon and evening.
What have you done for yourself today? Do you have a spot or a thing you do to help yourself reset? If not, you're missing out and you might want to brainstorm this a bit. I hear a lot of people say their spot is the ocean or a beach or the lake or mountains and while those places are wonderful for a big getaway, a far off location can't be the quick respite our souls so desperately need. Think of it like this--you need a place nearby when the warning lights go off.
You deserve to give yourself a minute to reset in the middle of this manic, overloaded, fast lane life you're living. In fact, push the limit and take eight. And yes, it was really eight. I'm a type A. I counted.