It’s 12:21 and I can’t sleep. This is unusual for me. I am, generally, a person who relishes an early bed time – perhaps to a fault. But it’s the time of year when the mundane aspects of my jobs – the grade entry and record updating and endless stream of emails – can no longer be ignored. Semesters are ending and winter breaks are fast approaching, but instead of winding down gradually, they seem quickly arrive at a screeching halt of grading, progress reports, final assessments, and the accompanying administrative activity. In a twisted way, I eagerly await the inevitable crash, a week from today. At least then I can take a week away from the to-do list!
It’s been a long year. A blissful, beautiful year, but a long one at nonetheless. It was a “Year of Yes” (see my entry “Saying Yes” by clicking here). “Yes” has lead to a lot of amazing experiences, ones I never could have imagined in December of 2012. As I reflect on the events of the past year, it still feels unreal – and yet it all started with one little vote of confidence in myself. One little, “You can do this.” One little, “Yes,” then another, and another …
I am very grateful for the people I’ve met and those who have supported me along the way – teachers, students, colleagues, friends, family, and audiences, and I’m also very grateful for the experiences themselves and the lessons gleaned from them. But frankly, I’m feeling just a little exhausted, over extended, and out of touch with my inner vitality. This is not a bad thing, I guess. It happens to everyone at times, no matter what your profession or life circumstances, and it feels good to work hard and see the impact that hard work can have. I’m definitely not complaining, not about the work load, anyway. However, sleep-little nights like these, furiously trying to check off my to-do list so my mind will quiet enough for rest, make me think about how I handle the stress that often comes with the work load that can result from saying yes. It is times like this when I need to just remind me that it is important to be thoughtful when saying yes. It can be tempting to say yes indiscriminately, to take on all the new challenges that the universe throws at you. While this leads to many exciting and new experiences, it can also take time away from saying yes to the things that feed your soul and matter most to you. Without those things, the world’s yes’s can get pretty stressful.
This year, I hope to continue to be able to say yes to new opportunities, while also taking the time for the things that help me stay balanced and keep stress at bay. For me, that will include spending time alone in the studio to improvise and create each week, getting to yoga more often, and journaling in the morning. I’ll let you know how it goes! What are your soul-feeding activities you want to stay yes to this year?