Monday, April 29, 2013
What I Learned On My Day Off
Every so often, life sneakily builds up on me until I'm at a breaking point. Over the last month or two, I've spent most of my lunch hours rushing to appointments, crossing tasks off my to-do list (stressing all the while about getting back to work late), or leaving early so I could go out of town or meet a service person at my house... then scrambling around attending events and stuff in the evenings and on weekends. I realize that this is normal life to many people, but personally, I can only power through for so long. I felt stressed constantly and couldn't deal with it anymore. Even after taking some time to relax last weekend, I hadn't come out of my mental fog.
So last Friday, I took a vacation day just to catch up on my life. I accomplished most of my nagging to-dos in that one day!* It's crazy how much easier it is to get things done in the daytime. Even though I slept in, by noon, I had already visited the car tag office** and gotten my tires rotated at Wal-Mart (and easily did the shopping while I waited). In just a few hours, I knocked out a list of errands that would have taken forever individually on a night or weekend. It was incredibly liberating. Then, with nothing hanging over my head, I was able to HAVE A WEEKEND. I had time for a leisurely brunch with a friend, reading, napping, catching up on my DVR, and even renting a movie (which has become the height of luxury to me for some reason).
I've concluded that my life would be vastly improved if I could have one Errand Day per month. One day (or even half-day) solely devoted to Doing All The Things, during which no one is allowed to call and redirect my plans or ask me for anything. Sometimes I feel ridiculous struggling to manage everything as a single woman. I sense mothers rolling their eyes at me thinking, How hard can it be? (and seriously, working mothers, I don't know how you do it). But as my friend and I agreed this weekend, single women are solely responsible for managing our own households. Even if it's only a household of one (and pets), we're doing it all on our own with no help and little time.*** As I've said before, single homeownership is not for the fainthearted. In addition to home responsibilities, most single women juggle busy social schedules to meet our needs for interaction… not to mention the time-suck of "putting ourselves out there" at every opportunity in the faint hope of meeting someone (because, as people love to remind us, God will not deliver the right man to our door). This is especially draining for me as an introvert, which is probably why I have these occasional breakdowns. I want to live a full and interesting life. I also want to know when I'm still single and too old to have children that I did everything I could. But often, all I really want is to stay happily at home with my cats and a good book and have it be okay.
Anyway, taking that day was one of the best things I've done for myself in a while. I can't really afford to do that as often as I'd like to, but in the future, I'll be less hesitant to take the time when stuff starts piling up. It's worth it.
* = The main thing I didn't do: call Comcast to cancel/negotiate my cable. I can't pay their exorbitant costs anymore, but I don't understand the competitors' cable/internet options and false advertising and hidden installation fees, and I also dread calling and arguing with them. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP.
** = Heads up: if you buy a car outside Shelby County and keep your old tag, it will NOT be transferred automatically. Even if the dealership said they would handle it, and you received completed transfer paperwork from the Tennessee Department of Whatever.
*** = This is still fathoms better than managing a household of two with no help and little time. (Been there, done that.) But that doesn't mean it's easy.