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

Sunlight peeking through the trees

On day 318 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I explored being. (Again.)

If you’ve been following my self-care challenge, then this probably sounds familiar. Less than a month ago, on day 297 to be exact, being was my self-care experiment for the day.

But since then, I’ve once again found myself caught up in “doing,” so I decided to repeat it. (Clearly, I need more practice.)

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 placed it in another room. I closed my office door, leaving my books and journals behind. And I resisted the urge to tie into any of the many projects I’ve been staring at on my to-do list for weeks.

Left without my usual distractions, I felt uncomfortable. I struggled to accept that I was wasting precious time being when I could be using my time more productively doing instead.

I was alone with my thoughts.

After meeting with my coach earlier in the week, I had a lot to mull over. It became clear to me that I haven’t really given myself the proper space to come to any conclusions, to make any meaningful decisions.

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

But somehow, I resisted the urge to fall back into my usual routines. I left my phone alone, kept my books behind the closed door, and avoided my to-do list. But I did spend half the day pacing back and forth, wringing my hands, trying to decide what to “do” with my time. I was hard not to notice all the things that I could be doing instead.

I noticed the baseboard needed painting, the tub needed 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 in completely, I still found other things to do: five loads of laundry, hand-washing the dishes, and giving the dog a bath. It was impossible for me to sit still. But between those tasks, I did sit with some important questions I’ve been avoiding for too long, and I came to some conclusions.

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

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