I'm continuing to struggle with feeling like I have enough spoons (and so are a lot of other people I know). I feel like I should be able to power through an 8-hour workday, then come home and have enough energy left over to do literally anything else. But, especially over the last few weeks, that definitely has not been the case.

I was talking to Othercat about it, and I think there might be a couple reasons why.

First, I don't leave enough space for downtime in my day. More often than not, my calendar is literally packed with meetings and other things I need to get done, to the point that I've started telling people, "If it doesn't show up on my calendar, it's not happening." On more than one occasion in the last couple weeks, I've walked into a meeting saying, "Sorry I'm late, I had to run to the restroom."

Because my calendar is so full, I start the day looking at it and going, "oh god, I don't have enough me-time in here, I'm going to be so overwhelmed". So I'm already starting off with the mindset that my day is going to be ridiculous, and it turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The end result: by the time I get home from work, I'm basically ready to eat dinner and go to bed. I'll spend the next few hours listlessly staring at my computer, watching TV, and/or reading a bit (either news or some fiction or non-fiction book) before I pass out.

This isn't really how I want to spend my life.

I want to be able to come home after having put in a full 8-hour day and still have enough spoons to make some progress on my own projects. I have a whole list of stuff I want to do around the house; I want to see my friends more; I want to actually dig in to things that bring me joy. Or at the very least, I want to get enough chores out of the way that I have time to do those things on the weekends.

I don't know how people do 12 hours a day for weeks on end. I can't even do 8, not without very consciously pacing myself (and sometimes not even then).

Part of me wonders if this is some introvert/extravert dichotomy; does it cost me more spoons to sit in meetings and talk to other people than it would an extravert? Probably, but I also have to believe that exercising those collaborative muscles will stretch and grow them over time.

Anyway, the point of all of this is: I want to find better ways to pace myself and manage my mood during the day so I have energy left over at night. This is a thing I've worked on a lot in therapy, but I'm also realizing I'm just not aggressive enough when it comes to blocking out (down)time for myself.

If "it's not on my calendar, it doesn't get done," then "stop and drink tea and breathe for a bit" had better be a recurring meeting on my calendar.

What are your thoughts? How do y'all cope with having too much to do and not enough time to do it?

— Des

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Des

August 2018

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