Reclaiming My Time

         Today is Friday. I should be excited for the weekend but my weekend doesn’t start until after 6pm or so, tomorrow (i.e. Saturday, otherwise known as part of  “the weekend”). I usually start work at noon (don’t think, that I wake up at 11 or something, though) and ends around 8pm. Today, I started work at 8 am and I’m not sure how long I’ll be here. It’s Friday and I’m exhausted. My eyes feel tingly because they’re open all the time. I have to work for a few hours tomorrow.

         But I am not a nanny by way of passion, I am a nanny out of laziness to pursue a job in the service industry, out of desire for a set schedule and a need for a substantial paycheck. I am a writer with an acting degree who is just now beginning to call herself a ‘freelancer’.

         I find time to do my freelance work when the muffin takes a nap or in the morning before work. I try not to be on my computer when I get home so I can actually wind down. My workout comes first around 5 or 6 in the morning, so my day will usually begin writing work at 7/8 am. I am working until about 8pm everyday.

         I work with one kid. He and I are best friends. I teach him a lot and he reminds me of a lot of fruitful lessons. I taught him the word “mango” the other day and while he still won’t eat one, he knows the word. He reminded me that I need to be patient. He’s almost 2 years old, so he’s a menace and I do have to tolerate that to an extent. I have to be patient with him because he doesn’t know any better. He reminded me that I shouldn’t hold grudges for any longer than 5 mins-1 hour. Anything longer than that and you’re wasting your time. This is my survival job, this isn’t my dream job but it’s what I’m doing right now. While I don’t work paycheck-to-paycheck and feel lucky that I get to say that, I am not fulfilled.

         I do think, we twenty-somethings, should be working your ass off until we’re 25-30, then start working half your ass off and once we hit 40, we should work ¼ of our asses off and go to a vineyard or the beach more often.

         I am in the throes of adulthood. Luckily, I am not waiting tables (although I’m starting to see the benefits of doing that) and I’m not working at a cash register all day.

         I have to prioritize my time and discipline myself to stick with a schedule so I don’t lose myself to a routine that doesn’t make my heart beat. I have to remind myself that this is a limited time deal. For it to truly be limited deal, I have to save as much money as I can and work my ass off. I have to have samples of jokes and sample pieces of writing for the time when I can fully pursue what I came here for.

         Not every moment of life can be full of sparkles. Some of it has to be unpleasant and it has to be stressful and we have to be tired and we have to wake up super early and go to bed late. Sometimes we have to have sleep for dinner just so we can have enough money to take a class to further improve our craft whatever it might be.

         Therapy is so therapeutic, who knew?. I am learning things about myself that I wasn’t expecting. I have been hurt much more than I cared to acknowledge but I am learning to no longer blame myself for these experiences.

         There’s this piece of resistance equipment that you put on like a backpack and it looks like a parachute. It holds you back as you run so you go faster and strengthen your endurance. This is what blaming yourself feels like. Like running in place and something holding you back without mercy. It is not until you either forgive yourself or you place the blame where it’s supposed to be. It’s when you take the resistance away, that you feel stronger. I’m writing this paragraph after therapy where I did just that, I took the resistance away. I know why I’m angry, now I accept that and move forward. I just sent my acting coach an email to continue our work.

         Relationships, romantic or otherwise, take up our time. Relationships are the most magical thing in this life, I believe. They deserve attention and care. Especially in the beginning of romantic relationships, they need time to grow and trust. We have to offer ourselves and our vulnerability to build something that could help us as individuals grow. That’s the magic and beauty of relationships, to be with someone that you are able to grow together. Two separate beings maybe from completely different or entirely similar backgrounds and ambitions and then to find a common ground and build a life to share from that.

         Although my anxiety went on a rampage throughout the beginning of my current relationship (and likes to peak it’s head here and there), I have not lost myself in it. I have always been Annie and I haven’t compromised any of my beliefs or expectations (though, I have adjusted…*ahem* middle ground)

         He is away for almost two weeks, on a well-deserved vacation with family. I did the same in June. But that’s the funny thing about relationships, they grow with time. Who knew? We miss each other much more than we did in June. But we’re also more comfortable missing each other for longer amounts of time. I was actually excited to have that time to stay in my own place every night, by myself. I can get all my work done with no distractions other than the sound of my own music or my choice of a show (Annie’s Note: Yes, I can work with those on in the background, I had to get through high school somehow).

         I took about 6 workout classes during this time without the major scheduling conflict of wanting to snuggle in the morning. I showed up early to all of my appointments rather than just getting there in the nick of time. Another “yes,”...yes, it’s “nick” and not “knick” in that phrase. I had to look it up because I’ve only ever said it out loud and never wrote it down.

         You’re welcome.

         I make all of these decisions myself; to stay in bed alone or not. I decide to leave when I want even if I am cutting it close to the time I am supposed to be somewhere. I do because I want to get every minute I can with this person I love. And as much as I do, I like to do things just for me. And to be able to make these decisions without bailing or saying “No, sorry, I can’t hang out that day” is a good feeling.

         Reclaiming your time is self-care and self care is not just taking bubble baths. It’s doing the dirty work to make sure you’re able to wake up in the morning, saying goodbye to people that you’ve known for years that no longer treat you with the respect you deserve, it’s saying no to a milkshake because you’d rather workout and it’s saying yes to a milkshake because you want one.

Reclaim your time and you will reclaim your name and everything you’re made of and built for.


Annie BehrensComment