I have a vivid memory of staring at the seconds ticking by on my clock the summer of 2012. Tick, tock, tick, tock. That was the summer I spent as much time as humanly possible with my then-boyfriend before he moved abroad for a year. The summer I fell too deep into our relationship and forgot who I was without him, the summer when I defined myself by my relationship to him and lost sight of everything. The summer that, when bereft of his company, I chose to lay on my bed one empty Saturday afternoon and stare at my clock, literally watching time go by. Tick, tock, tick, tock.
It’s so strange to think back on that afternoon because I can’t fathom how I had so little to do (and was so bored enough) that staring at the slow-moving hands of a clock seemed like a good way to spend my time. Didn’t I have a book to read? Blog posts to write? Texts to send? Emails to reply to? Music to listen to? TV shows to watch? Hell, even a nearby park to go take a walk in?? Apparently not.
In the constant motion that is my life now, I find myself thinking about that afternoon a lot. I know that people always say time flies, but lately, I think time has been running at light year speeds. I wake up, I go to work, I hit the gym or happy hour or some other event, I go home, and then before I know it, it’s already way past my bedtime. Rinse and repeat. And while I wouldn’t trade everything I have going on in my life for, well, anything — I know I am so very lucky to have the friends and family and boyfriend and coworkers that I do — I do find myself wishing that I could find some more time to just… well, be. Tick, tock, tick, tock.
I’ve never been good at adequately balancing everything I have on my plate; things tend to slide more towards certain things before sliding back to some others. I’ve a tendency to get all caught up in one thing before dropping it to focus on everything else, only for the cycle to repeat when the next thing catches my eye. There was a period of time when this blog took precedent over everything, aside from my day job, and I spent all of my time writing and vlogging and writing some more. Nowadays (again, aside from my day job), my social life takes precedence over all, followed closely by my workout schedule. When I was writing constantly I wondered if I had forgotten how to reach out to a friend to schedule a brunch; now, when I’m out at happy hour, I wonder if the words will ever come back to me when I find the time to sit down and blog.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
But you know what I’m realizing, as I swing from one aspect of my life to another?
I cannot be all the things I want to be at all of the times.
It’s almost embarrassing to say how revelatory this lesson has been, but damn. I definitely should’ve learned this sooner.
It’s okay that I can’t be the fittest person with the busiest social life whose blog and social media profiles churns out new content on a regular basis. Who is the highest performer in her office and is the best girlfriend and daughter and sister and friend ever. It’s okay that I am only some of these things at any given time, and it’s especially okay that I am none of these things at the same time because that’s just impossible.
And no matter how much time ticks by, it’s not going to become any more possible.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
As long as I do what I can when I can, things will be just fine. Maybe I’ll learn some better time management skills; maybe I’ll drop a commitment or two in favor of really focusing on just one. But as long as I choose to spend my time simply aware of it ticking by rather than literally dumbly staring at it, that’s a bigger improvement than my old self ever could’ve hoped for.