Some Commitments Need Adjustments
I started this year full of commitments. Alongside those commitments, to which I have stayed consistent, I have found pressure that I have had some failure or difficulty in other areas. I have 100% energy almost every single day until about 8pm. And at 8pm, I'm wiped. Up at 3:55am or earlier some days and in bed by 8pm is ideal. But 8pm doesn't always happen. Sometimes 9, sometimes even 10. Yea...10, I can get pretty crazy.
But I'm still sticking to my commitment to get up, get to writing, get to the gym, get a healthy breakfast, follow my meal plan, get to work, sit in a minimum of 7 meetings a day, get home, get quality time with Dave and do it all over again. Go, go, go...
I've started coming home and immediately getting ready for bed, no matter what time I walk in the door. Pajamas on, face washed, nightly facial routine finished. Then I make dinner. Why? Because by the time I'm done making my dinner and eating it, cleaning up, making my lunch for the following day and setting out my workout clothes, I'm spent. Literally, done and if I don't do it at 6pm, it is going to be real hard to convince myself to do it at 8pm, 9pm or even those wild days at 10pm. Is this 43? I guess so...
I accepted a few years ago that I am a high functioning 6 hours of sleep a night person. Some people say that isn't healthy or sustainable. I might bite someone's head off if they wake me even 5 minutes before my alarm, but besides that, I am pretty pleasant. There is a smattering of 8 hours thrown in there every few months, but a solid uninterrupted 6 hours is just fine for my productivity, and my kindness.
Lately, my job has become stressful. Not like saving lives or running a household stressful, but like I said, minimum 7 meetings a day stressful. Each one comes with a new "to do" item. My "to do list" starts each week with the date, then a list of items and a checkbox next to each one for me to fill in as I complete them. I get a thrill out of putting checkmarks inside boxes that I drew. Each day, I add to the list, check off one or two things and cross out the date the following day and write the new date down for an attempt at completion. The list continues to grow, some days to multiple pages. It is my little checkmark box of anxiety. And it was read all over my face, through my voice and in my demeaner for a solid two weeks. I couldn't catch up. I felt like all I was doing was adding to my list and checking nothing off. On top of that, I was sticking to my commitment to leave work at work.
Then one day I got up to write, but instead, it was earlier than 3:55, it was 1:55 and my mind was racing about that list. So instead of practicing my creativity, I got to work. I sifted through about 52 of my 147 actionable unread emails and made progress. There was a part of me that would have been sad that I didn't stick to my creative commitment and let work come home. But there was the other part of me that knew if I didn't accept that I was in a productive worry situation, meaning, I could do something about that stress, then I would have fallen behind everywhere else too.
Working at 2am on a day I would have normally written, was equivalent to me accepting that 6 hours of sleep is my functioning sweet spot. It made me feel more free and less guilty, frustrated and overwhelmed. I was able to shift...and stay committed to my commitments. Some of our commitments take a little flexibility. I want to be successful at home, inside, at work and on the outside and sometimes, that means a few less hours of sleep or a switch of creative days. In case you were beating yourself up about not doing that thing you said you would do, it doesn't mean you can't still do it another day or shift directions and do something else, entirely too.
Accepting shifts and adjustments, can encourage us to be a better version of ourselves everywhere else too.