Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kelly: Life Out of Balance

I feel like my life should be aired on the Discovery Channel's "Planet in Peril" series.

While I'm a whole lot smaller than the Earth, I think that the good folk over there at Discovery could do an excellent segment on the ecosystem which is my life and the imbalance I've created for myself.

When I allow myself to giggle about my stressed-out situation (still acclimating from my move, dealing with work which doesn't quite grab me, being separated from my family, and still in the process of making friends), I like to imagine all my little cells banding together like some molecular Greenpeace, writing letters to my brain, urging, no...PLEADING for some balance to return to the life which is Kelly.

Yeah.

Helping this realization along is the tragic news that my darling Della (yes, I did name my computer) died rather tragically this week. I tried to resuscitate her. I shook her and said, "Della, Della, are you okay?" I watched the yellow flashing beep that was her battery slowly fade into oblivion.

Tears were shed.

Tissues were used.

I'm still in mourning.

Still, I'd like to think that Della's passing was really her attempt to save me from the perils of being available 24-7 to all the groups for which I work/volunteer. Prior to her "passing", I felt as if I was running on potent shots of espresso daily (truly a wonder, as I don't drink coffee). I was agitated. Antsy. Disconnected. Stressed out. Sleep deprived. Punchy. Namely, I was living my life in a constant state of agitation and flurry, and I had no real plans on coming up for air. A F-5 tornado would have nothing on me.

What's worse? I began to feel incompetent and developed low self-esteem because I couldn't give any one project or relationship the attention it needed to thrive. Ultimately, I felt like a failure. While that's probably an overstatement, it's how I felt then. The reality, though, was subtler - my health had begun to suffer (getting ill more often).

Quick to learn my lesson, I've slowed myself down. I've been going to sleep earlier and awake feeling more refreshed. I have more time on my hands now that I don't have ready access to a computer (gotta love the public library!), so more time is spent actually speaking to those I love and reading books and catching up on movies. It's been nice.

My new computer is set to arrive this week (no worries...I'm already thinking up names), but I find that I'm not as thrilled as I thought I'd be. I thought I'd feel ecstatic because it felt odd not to have a computer handy. I was used to the constant access and the instant satisfaction I felt in replying to emails/projects as they came in, which meant that I spent more time on the Internet than was necessary.

All I can say is that I don't feel that way any more. I've come to see that living a balanced is the only way any truly meaningful work gets done in this world. Why? Because it probably means you're connected to your core, your passions and your life's path. When you work from this place of strength, much more gets done and it's easier to get it done because it feels effortless.

This "unplugging" has also afforded me a chance to consider all the many groups to which I give my time and energy, and it's making me rethink how many of those are really in line with my core and what I came here to do.

It may be too early to tell, but I have a hunch that the coming months will see a reordering of my priorities. I think I'm going to spend more time indulging in that which feeds me (writing, yoga, painting) than pushing to give so much of myself to others. I like giving, but I have to give to myself first.

In short, this past week has taught me that:
  1. Whirlwinds and tornadoes only destroy.
  2. Harsh rains never soak the earth.
  3. If you want to make a real difference in the world, you have to make a difference in your own life first. The first step? Really loving yourself and knowing that you have worth!

3 comments:

Margaret said...

Kelly,
Your three 'lessons' are brilliant. Della didn't die in vain if her passing gave you the space needed to re-evaluate your priorities and lifestyle. I would be lost without my computer, it's a big part of how I study and learn and keep in touch with friends and family; but I've learned in the past few weeks that I spend a lot more time waffling around the internet than I really need to. It has taken time to sort out what I need to 'target' on a daily basis, what is weekly, what is occasional, and what is totally unnecessary and wasteful of my time and mindspace.
You are a lively, generous and energetic person, with a great deal to offer--be nice to you!
Bright blessings,
Margaret

Kelly said...

Margaret,

I'm with you. This has made me realize just *how* much time I spend online each day engaged in "waffling" and other necessary searching.

I like what you've said about "mindspace". Sometimes I forget to protect it from unneccessary information which does little to mold my being and my thoughts.

I had to giggle in reading your last comment. I've always been my harshest critic and this is a good reminder that I'm doin' the best I can under the circumstances!

Thanks and blessings to you in return.

Kelly

Jennifer said...

Hello Kelly,
I hope you know how special you are. Your friendliness and kind comments have helped me a lot. You have to refill the pitcher with water to water the plants. Hugs Jen