I can get a lot done in a day.
Big. F**king. Deal.
In spite of what we know about stress, in spite of what we know about the fallacy of multi-tasking, in spite of what we claim to believe about "The Harmful Effects of Busy Culture" (the title of many articles), we still hold some kind of high regard for the person who is running a little ragged because they are getting so much done. And that was me for years. What I could get done in a day was epic.
Never mind that I was overweight, unhealthy, and not very happy.
But don't misunderstand me: I am actually not against getting a lot done in a day. I like that. I like being active, I like having stuff on my plate, I like having a lot of ideas and having to prioritize what makes the cut. What I don't like is the ingrained message that only certain kinds of activities are considered worthy of being on a list of tasks that earn a check mark. What I don't like is feeling like I'm wasting time if what I'm doing doesn't fit that definition. I am not a wasteful person. I don't waste much of anything, including time.
Long story short, this all came about when I was writing the other day. It was 10:30am and I had been up working on different writing projects for 5 hours. FIVE. HOURS. I got up to warm up my coffee and switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer, and I heard me say this to myself: Geez, it's already 10:30am and you haven't gotten anything done today! Luckily I only got a couple of steps before I stopped that old train of thought. Whoa, whoa whoa, WHAT???!!! I've been working for 5 hours! Typically I would then remind myself of everything I did the day before and that I'm up and at 'em (one of my coffee cups actually says that) by 5 or 5:30am every day and that I'm getting laundry done and I took a break to think a little while ago and cleaned the bathroom and I have a list of things to do the rest of the day...But I didn't. I stopped after I've been working for 5 hours. No justification needed.
I'm learning to stop justifying, or feeling like I need to, from--you guessed it--running. When I started running and working out the learning curve was steep and the pendulum had to swing from all out to all in to create the momentum I needed to move the needle. I put all my resources into learning and doing the workouts and overhauling my nutrition. All of my thoughts and time and energy and a good deal of money went in to it, and you could see the results. But fairly quickly I knew that there was something deeper in this for me. Losing weight was just the carrot (haha) to get me through the door, but this whole new world was meant for me. I did not know why it was for me, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to "prove" what I knew with impressive wins. My results were going to come in lots of forms, some tangible but many less easily measurable ways, and at some point I was going to need to embrace this whether or not anyone else could. If I was going to stay the course it's because I knew it was right, and it would have to come from inside of me, not outside of me. I was going to have to trust that I am not wasting resources by continuing down this path even though I've already lost the weight. I was going to have to have faith in myself.
So here I sit, writing, and resisting the urge to tell you all the chores I got done today and all the strides I made in the other areas of life because I can't quite shake that it's what really validates me. I'm writing, and then I'm going to run. Because I know I'm supposed to. And everytime I put my faith there, I grow to trust myself a little more. And that is not a waste of time.