The Suitcase of Life

Guys, I have a problem.

I just did a count for how many obligations I have in any given month (and by obligation, I mean, something that takes up an evening, something that I have to schedule and turn down social/down time because of. Something that I have to either host or be on task and produce some sort of fruit from the event). I was only counting for weekdays — weekends are a whole other animal. My count came up to 14 weekdays throughout the month.

That’s 3 or 4 weekdays a week. Holy hell, I don’t have any time for a social life.

It’s funny, because I used to blame my lack of social life on working late. Now I have to concede that it’s because I don’t know how to say “no” to projects.

Not that I don’t love those projects. Those projects are improv rehearsals, and production meetings, and sketch writing sessions, and the filmmaker meet-ups and workshop events. All things I love, and all people I love. But before making this count, there were things that I thought I could add to my workload – writing workshops, for example. I was going to start up the writing workshops again.

Psh. Nope, not until I can control my urge to be a part of everything and anything.

I have a very hard time saying “no” to things I love. It’s kind of like fitting everything into a suitcase — you want to bring that extra sweater, damn it, and you are going to spend the extra fifteen minutes trying to get it to fit. I’ve reached a point in my life where good things are happening, so many good things that I have to look at my schedule at least 5 times a day just to organize them all — something I’ve never really had to do in the past. I have to schedule get-togethers with friends a few weeks ahead of time, because if I don’t, then by the time that week rolls around, I won’t have any free space on my calendar. The good news is, I always have time after my meetings — so at about 9 or 10 at night, I’m raring to go in the social scene. Unfortunately, no one else seems to be.

At this point, I’m a little worried about burnout.

2ee9fdf2-f64c-4b88-af5d-b7f1c065af88-17500-0000126b20fe8cce_tmpDo any of you have this problem? If so, how the hell do you manage it? Please tell me your secrets, whether in the comments or in person. Though let’s be honest — good luck making plans with me for the foreseeable future, unless it’s after 9:00 at night.

But for real. I’m learning more and more that leaving holes in your schedule is important. I don’t know why I feel the need to be on the run every waking moment… I seem to have this innate assumption that to have a full life, you must have a full schedule. I wish I could get beyond that. Having a full life should mean being able to enjoy it, instead of always having your focus on the next thing (not the present thing), being whisked away to the next task, no matter how enjoyable that may be. Having a full life is using everything in your suitcase and being satisfied — not being overwhelmed by the amount of things that fly out when you open it.

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