Self-Care Challenge (Day 318): Being (Take 2)

Sunlight peeking through the trees

So you might recall that I’ve already practiced “being” once before during this 2016 self-care challenge. Less than a month ago, on day 297 to be exact, being was my self-care experiment for the day.

But since I have such a strong attachment to “doing,” I decided to repeat it. Only this time I executed it a little differently. This time I eliminated my primary crutches–reading, planning and journaling–for a full 12 hours.

I turned off my phone and left it in another room; I closed my office door, leaving my books and journals behind; and I resisted the urge to tie into the many “organization” projects that have been on my to-do list for weeks.

All that was left was me.

There I was, left without my usual distractions. Uncomfortable. Struggling to accept the fact that I was wasting precious time being when I could be using my time more productively instead.

I was alone with my thoughts.

Since meeting with my coach earlier this week, I’ve been mulling over a lot of things that I’ve packed away for a long time. It became clear to me that I haven’t really given myself the proper space to come to any conclusions.

Being has always been excruciatingly painful for me. I like being busy because it means I don’t have to think about or face some of the more serious aspects of my life. Some people choose drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, or gambling–I choose planning.

Somehow I resisted the urge to fall back into my usual routines. I spent half the day pacing back and forth, wringing my hands, trying to decide what to “do” with my time, and trying really hard not to notice all of the things that I could be doing instead. I noticed that the baseboard needs painting, the tub needs re-tiled. And, oh, I really need to sort through my latest recipes and add them to my collection.

While I did manage to avoid getting sucked into my usual distractions, I still found other things to do, like five loads of laundry, hand-washing the dishes, and giving the dog a bath.

It was impossible to sit still. But between those tasks, I did manage to sit with some questions I’ve been avoiding, and I did actually come to some conclusions.

Are you spending enough time being, or are you too busy doing?

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