At any given moment, this is what my workspace looks like. Random shit everywhere, empty notebook pages waiting for me to writing something important, and coffee. All the coffee. It’s also what my brain feels like: messy, unfocused, cluttered. The thing is, this frantic-ness is common everywhere these days. Actually, common is the wrong word; it’s expected. It’s celebrated.
Busyness is the norm for creatives who work for their themselves. If you aren’t too busy, you’re told to fill your time with goal planning and moving forward. Constantly moving forward. I find myself thriving with this type of expectation; it’s how I built everything I have.
There’s a popular saying from Buddha’s Little Instruction Book: “The trouble is, you think you have time.”
It sounds charming, right? The idea that we all have big dreams, but if we don’t get to them today, we never will. In theory, I love this idea. What better motivation is there than time? The world is a crazy place, and who knows where you or I may be tomorrow. It’s enough to get my own ass into gear.
At this moment, however, there’s a disconnect. I find myself wanting to do ALL THE THINGS because time. I have no patience; I like immediate results. The thing is, I’m going to give birth within the next six weeks. I have a toddler at home that relies on me for nearly all of his care. My husband is working himself into the ground to prepare for what’s next in our family.
Maybe the quote is true in a different way for me, because I don’t have time. Not right now.
It’s always important to remember what your priorities are, and right now, my priorities don’t include my personal and professional goals. That’s hard for me to admit to anyone, least of all myself. But it’s true, and I need to be okay with that. This isn’t to say that my priorities may change after I am done with my parental “leave” for my new little. For now, however, I need to take the time that I have to nurture the most important things in my life.
If you’re struggling with this as well, I want to assure you: honey, you have time. Don’t let some inspirational image you see on Pinterest, or a misguided article from a “life coach” guilt you into thinking that you aren’t doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing at this moment.
The shaming of creatives who aren’t spending one-hundred percent of their energy on moving their small business forward needs to stop. Even now I don’t know how to be still. I don’t know how to relish in this moment because I’ve always been told to look to the future. It sucks. I want SO badly to live in this moment, to focus on the now. I suppose that’s what mindfulness is technically about.
So today, I’m going to ground myself into this moment. To do the things I need to do, however small, to keep my home in order (this I struggle with – because why clean when I can make lists of things to do!). To express gratitude for what I have now.
Don’t be afraid to do the same. Because you do have time. I promise.