Friday, May 13, 2011

"So The Combination Is... One, Two, Three, Four, Five?"

“You have to be willing to give up the life you planned to have the life that’s waiting for you.” 

I came across this quote in a magazine I was reading the other day. It was one of those sayings that made me stop in my tracks and think to myself “this is exactly what I needed to hear in the exact moment I needed to hear it.” 

I am a planner. It’s what I’ve always been. My brain works years in advance, painting pictures of what I want my future to look like. I often catch myself living in a world that has been completely made up out of my own hopes and dreams and forgetting what I actually did on any given day here in the present. 

While I do feel as if I have made some significant progess in this arena, I still find myself very attached to how things should “look” in my life. I feel that if I’m not spending every second of every day working toward a series of goals, then at the end of it all, I’ll be left with nothing. 

This works for a while. I get very motivated and put together a weekly schedule. I outline all the things I plan on doing in the upcoming week. I prepare a day by day itinerary and often even block out the times I’m going to do everything. Here is an example of what I might write on my little white board in my room: 

Monday (Workday) 
9am: Breakfast and clean house 
10:30am: Gym (40 minutes Spin, 20 minutes Abs) 
12:00pm: Lunch and write blog 
3:00pm: Work on music download project 
5:00pm: Head to work (wear bar clothes) 
11:00pm: Cameo at karaoke? 

Tuesday (Off work) 
10:00am: Breakfast and laundry 
12:00pm: Gym (30 minutes cardio, 30 minutes upper body weights) 
2:00pm: Work on “friends wall” (Walmart to print pictures) 
4:00pm: Catch up on reading (SI, Shape, Dan Brown) 
6:00pm: Work on Moe’s Review Blog 
8:00pm: Drinks with friends 

Wednesday (Off work) 
9:00am: Breakfast 
10:00am: Gym (60 minutes cardio) 
11:30am: Work on Suite101 dating blog 
1:00pm: Work on music download project 
2:00pm: Online networking, catch up on unread blogs 
4:00pm: Grocery store 
6:00pm: Head to bowling 
9:30pm: Respond to emails 

Thursday (Workday) 
9:00am: Breakfast 
10:00am: Gym (30 minutes cardio, 30 minutes lower body workout) 
12:00pm: Lunch and write blog, catch up on Facebook stuff 
4:00pm: Work (Restaurant clothes)
10:00pm: Draft House for karaoke? 

Friday (Workday) 
10:00am: Breakfast 
11:00am: 60-90 minute outdoor walk 
1:00pm: Lunch and catch up on reading (SI) 
3:00pm: Work on music download project 
5:00pm Work (Cocktail clothes)
Midnight: 3Toms for karaoke or sleep (depending on work) 

Get the picture? 

And this is when I really have nothing going on. Actually, that’s probably the worst time for me... when all I have is time to do whatever I want. I start to feel like I need to be making some kind of significant progress throughout the entire day. I actually block out time to exercise, work and to be social. It seems like if I don’t, I just can’t seem to get things accomplished to my satisfaction. 

Suddenly, last week happened. 

Originally, when I took the job at Roadrunner, I was looking forward to doing something a lot more relaxed than what I did at Chili’s. I let Chili’s really become part of who I was. I did not want the same thing to happen again. In fact, what I enjoy so much about serving and bartending is the fact that when the shift is over, I don’t take the job home with me. I go to work, clock in, handle my shit and clock out. Enough said. 

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. I work in an environment where anyone can do my job. Well, I guess what I mean is that it’s one of those professions that anyone off the street can get. Therefore, the caliber of people that you might have working in a particular restaurant ranges from the highly motivated and trustworthy to the lazy and pill popping youth of our generation. Since I am on the former part of this scale, I often find myself in a position where I need to step up and take on a little bit more than I would like to. More hours, more days, more responsibility. I was even training the new girl last week... and I’m the other new girl!! 

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being someone that can be counted on. It’s in my nature and it’s nice to be needed. However, too much time at work takes time away from all of the other things I want to be doing. As always, it’s the balance I constantly seek and seems to forever elude me... 

I have also, much to the surprise of some given my last blog, decided to pursue something with Brandon. Peeing incident or not, I like the guy! I can definitely feel myself taking a bit of a different approach as the idea of dating someone younger than me again has me slightly more withdrawn than usual. 

As is common with new relationships, my daily timetable has become somewhat erratic, especially given the fact that we work opposite schedules; him with fairly standard bankers hours and me holding down a typical service professional lifestyle. Out late, up late. We are at that very early stage where we are hungry to learn as much as we can about the other person because every discovery seems to be cooler than the one before. As a result, sleep has also been a bit elusive... 

Furthermore, I got a call from Jeremy last week that he had discovered a very lucrative gambling promotion that he wanted to get me in on. For obvious reasons, details can’t be shared, but what matters is that it required me to be available for the first six hours of my day all this week. 

On top of everything else, my bed hasn’t been made in two weeks, my bathroom is in desperate need of a date with Scrubbing Bubbles and Bailey glares at me with disdain every time I finally remember to clean out her litter box. 

I suppose this is life’s way of trying to find it’s own balance since I basically spent the last seven months doing whatever I wanted. 

“You have to be willing to give up the life you planned to have the life that’s waiting for you.” 

So, when I ran across this quote the other day, it landed for me pretty heavily. I’ve been so busy the past two weeks simply trying to keep up with life that I haven’t had time to worry about how much weight I’ve gained by not hitting the gym or what my next step is for becoming a spin instructor. I haven’t thought about which website I want to use to launch my new review blog or how I’m going to wrap up my Suite 101 online dating blog series. My new ipod for my music download project is still in it’s original case sitting on my counter. I think my current count for magazines left unread on my table is up to double digits (note to self - subscription for Sports Illustrated: Worst. Idea. Ever. Every article is interesting and so, so long and time consuming - I haven’t even read the one about where Cam Newton might go... ) 

As of yesterday morning, I had officially approached Ludicrous Speed. 

And yet, something in my mind felt different. Normally, I would be completely consumed and stressed out with all of the things that I wasn’t getting accomplished. I would beat up on myself for not taking the time to work out. I would feel like I didn’t make any headway on my writing goals. I would feel light years behind all of those people that took the spin class with me a few weeks ago and might already be doing auditions to teach a class. I would feel like a slob for climbing into an unmade bed for the tenth time in a row. 

Somehow, though... these things aren’t really weighing on my mind. 

I think it’s healthy to have a plan. But I’m not convinced that it’s healthy for someone like me to feel the need to follow it to the minute every day. Sure, I feel like I accomplished something... but my accomplishment may simply be crossing off the multitude of tasks that I assigned for myself that day. While I find this to have a certain degree of rewarding emotions, I’m not sure if it’s really the kind of “living” that is most substantial. I mean, should my day look a little more like this? 

7:30am: Kiss Brandon goodbye as he leaves for work 
8:00am: Have amazing dream about getting face painted while traveling in India 
10:30am: Lay in bed and check in on Facebook and see what friends are up to 
11:00am: Feed Bailey and make my own delicious and healthy breakfast 
12:00pm: Check in with mom and plan lunch because you miss her 
12:30pm: Respond to emails and do Internet-y stuff 
1:00pm: Write blog about how being a planner might not always work for me 
3:30pm: Get ready for work 
5:00pm: Go to work, enjoy my time, do a good job and work hard for my money 
12:00am: Cameo at karaoke to see friends that I truly dig 
3:00am: Go home, get some sleep and embrace how good it feels to be falling in love 

Does this schedule lessen my accomplishments as a human compared to what’s on my whiteboard? 

Be. Do. Have. 

This is a mantra that I remember from my leadership program. The idea is that if you are BEing the person you want to be and DOing the things you want to do, you will HAVE all of the things you have ever wanted. 

So often, I think we do this backwards. 

If only I had the perfect relationship, things would be different... 

If only I had enough money, I could take that trip I wanted.. 

If only I had more friends, I wouldn’t feel so alone... 

If only I had the American Dream, I could finally be happy... 

It’s like I need to HAVE something in order to DO what I want and ultimately BE happy. Spending some time reflecting on last week, I am starting to see how I’ve been thinking about this all wrong. 

Because last week didn’t turn out at ALL like I planned! However, I was able to spend some good quality time with Jeremy (and make some good money in the process), I had some great success at work (also resulting in nice moolah) and I took whatever time I could to get to know someone new that I really enjoy. I also connected with many of my friends and even had a heart to heart with the members of my bowling team that resulted in bringing us a little closer together off the lanes. 

I didn’t really exercise last week, I didn’t get any writing projects done and I did not clean my house. But, I was a good person and made good decisions. I went to sleep with a smile on my face and woke up with the feeling of joy and satisfaction surrounding me. 

Things have started to mellow from my crazy past ten days. I’m not sure what next week will bring but I think I’ve definitely learned something about myself that I will take to heart from this point on. 

Tasks will always be there, waiting to be accomplished. It’s “life” that will go on without me if I don’t take the time to enjoy it. 

Seems so easy, doesn't it? 

2:45pm: Hit “publish” and feel really good about myself, my life and my accomplishments.


  1. Ya know, its stuff like this and your previous blog that really make me miss living in Las Vegas. Maybe you should acronym-inize (shut up its a word!) your mantra and put it everywhere so you see it all the time. BDH! BDH!! BDH!!!

  2. Wow and I thought I was OCD...nice read

  3. Nice work! Introspection inspired!