A Year of Mindfulness

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I am goal-oriented. I’m a dreamer, which means my goals can get wrapped up in grandiose visions of waking up peacefully, in my perfectly (naturally) lit home, grabbing some green tea and overnight oats for breakfast, and sitting down at my computer to write–and words flowing from brain through my fingers.

My life is more a crash course of waking up at 3am, falling back asleep by 6am, only to wake up to an alarm at 7am, fumbling to get coffee with vanilla creamer, and talking at myself about all the things I want to write, but never actually do.

Yeah, I forgot breakfast.

2015 was an insane year. From January on, I was in constant “go” mode. For those new to the blog, I’m a full-time student, and during the spring semester I took 15 credit hours. Not too shabby, pretty average. And then, for the fall semester, I took 18 credit hours. Only one In fact, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about it. Every person in a 5 mile radius has probably heard it.

I talked about it a lot.

I meet someone new? Talk about 18 credit hours.

Getting coffee? Tell the barista about being a mom to a 6 year old while taking 18 credit hours (Yes, I know I could’ve written “whilst taking 18 credit hours,” but no one actually says whilst. So, stop writing it. I hate the word whilst. Hate. It).

And I loved the, “I don’t know how you do it,” comments. I loved being busy. Or people believing I was busy. I mean, if you’re busy, you’re productive.

If you’re busy, you’re successful.

If you’re busy, you’ve got your shit together.

I was addicted to busy. I still am. And I think it’s an area that needs some tending to.

BusyAddict

For the last 2 years or so, this whole idea of mindfulness has started to work it’s way into my brain. About 2 years ago, I was going weekly to a fantastic therapist who quickly saw how overwhelmed and high strung I was. What’s interesting  is most people wouldn’t classify me as high strung. Ever. In a million years. I’m low key. Laid-back. Slower energy. And I stumbled on why that is. The hamster inside my head is going so astronomically fast that my outward energy has to be slow to compensate for how overwhelmed the poor guy is. Does that make sense? Eh, I don’t know. It’s 6am and I’ve been up for 2 hours, make sense of it yourself.

Anyway, I’m seeing this therapist. And after our first session she mentions the word, “mindfulness.” And she starts giving me these exercises. Some of them I’d learned in theatre (ie. Focusing on your breath to bring you to the present moment).

And then I start researching mindfulness. And I find stuff about meditating and yoga. Oooh, I love yoga. And meditating sounds great in theory, but lord knows, I will never get my mind quiet enough to meditate. Right?

But I try it anyway. I find Headspace and not only is the dude British with a great accent, but I actually like meditating. Let me just say, on a side note, that I still can’t really meditate for longer than 10 minutes. My to-do list starts overtaking my thoughts and I have to quit. But hey, I’m trying.

So, I see this therapist for a little over a year, and I really start to take control of my anxiety. I’m able to settle myself down much quicker. Less panic. Less worry.

And the exercises I did with her way back when are still useful and working today.

But now I’m in conflict.

Because I love being busy, remember? And being busy often takes you out of the present moment. Even just now, I went away from working on this post, to looking for a graphic for this post so I could pin it and share it, and then decided I’d design my own on PicMonkey because I’m working on that whole “find your blog aesthetic,” only to come back to this post and realize that I’m really failing at this mindfulness thing.

What I learned from 2015? Busy didn’t make me productive. Sure, I got schoolwork done (which is good, and I’m proud of), but I didn’t grow the things I really wanted to grow. My blog, my business. Those all took a backseat to school. Even Z and E took a backseat at times. And while I’m sure school needed to be the front runner at points, it didn’t need to be the only runner, and sometimes it was.

So, 2016 will be the year I tackle this wonderful idea of staying present. Where I’ll talk less about being busy. I don’t know what I’ll replace that with yet, but I know that it’s necessary.

Like I said in the beginning, I’m not big on resolutions, but I am big on goals. And this is certainly my goal.

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