I don’t know why. It’s just how I am. I constantly need to be doing something, or have plans to do something. If I don’t have a list of things that need to get done, I start to go crazy.
I make list after list after list of things that need to get done. If I don’t have a list made, I feel my anxiety start to creep up as my mind constantly goes through a mental checklist of the things I have to accomplish that day…the whole time freaking out that I’m going to forget something. Once it’s down on paper, I’m fine. I could accomplish one of ten things on my list, but it’s ok: it’s on the list–it’ll get done at some point but at least I won’t forget it. Once my list is made, I’m ok with being an over achieving procrastinator. Things can wait. As long as the list is made. I also make lists just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing things off of it, I don’t care whether that’s good or bad. Once the list is written, I definitely feel like I have accomplished something, and flying a kite doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
This need for structure and busyness often has the ability to ruin perfectly good weekends, when I should be happy that I have nothing to do and can spend it all day doing whatever I want with Jeff. But my mind just goes bananas. I start getting anxious that I should be doing something, or thinking of things that I could or should be doing instead of just sitting at home. At the same time, I don’t want to do any of the things that I probably should be doing (hence the “procrastinator”).
I came across an article in the New York Times that seemed to hit the nail on the head. The title is “The Busy Trap,” and the article talks about how we, as humans, choose to be busy…we make ourselves busy. No one tells me that I need to have lunch and keep up with people from various networks…I just do it. No one requires that I participate in several different organizations that require my time and attendance at meetings. I chose to participate in them. No one forces me to attend weddings, birthdays, social hours, etc., on weekends. But I do it–either because I want to or because I feel it’s the socially acceptable thing to do.
I realize that the busy lifestyle I have is one which I have created for myself. The problem is that I’m never happy: I’m either stressed out about having overloaded myself with things to do, or I’m unhappy about not having anything “to do.”
I really wish that I could just let things go, relax, and enjoy my surroundings. I’ve definitely gotten better at living in the “now” since I met Jeff, but I know I can be a lot better. I just don’t know how to get to that point.