Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Happy Plate

Well, I have managed to fall off the blogging bandwagon again.  I have found that when I get overwhelmingly busy, the first thing to get pushed to the side is my poor blog.  However, in realizing this, I found the topic for this post, so I guess it was worth the wait?  Anyway.....

One might discover, if they looked back over my blog posts from the past, that I have a problem with time management.  It's not that I don't know how to manage my time or use it wisely.  The problem is that I am a complete "yes man."  For some reason, I seem to be able to convince myself that I can pull a Hermione Granger and use a time turner to complete 48 hours worth of stuff in 24 (if that allusion is beyond you, please read Harry Potter.  You're missing out).  I just like to make people happy, and I don't mind being busy.  In fact, I think I prefer it. You see, I'm pretty positive that I'm genetically meant to be a busybody (thanks mom and dad).  My parents are the same way, just maybe not to the extent that I am.  I even follow a pattern for my busyness.  I pile as much stuff onto my proverbial "life plate" as I can, do the best I can at it for as long as possible, and then have a mini-meltdown that requires at least 48 hours of sleep in order to recover.  I then apologize for falling behind/apart and start the process over.

Today, I realized I was headed for that 48 hours of sleep and recover again.  Over the past few months since I've graduated college, I have worked three jobs consistently, volunteered, maintained relationships, and still found time to shop impulsively for clothes I don't need and shoes that are too cute to pass up.  I'm reaching the breaking point.  See, people talk a lot about having too much on their plate.  That's me.  Overloaded.

I have a friend who, when she cleans her plate at a meal, joyfully says, "happy plate!"  Because her food was so good.  It's become a thing we do when we eat out and have a great meal, or on one of the rare occasions when we actually cook and sit down and eat at the house. A happy plate is an empty plate.  Everything on it went toward making you feel happy and content.  After much thought throughout today's busyness, I've decided that I may need to make my "life plate" happier.  I'm not talking about knocking everything off of it.  I'm just talking about being sure that everything on that plate is there to make me happy and content.  The extraneous stressful things may have to be let go.  Because in order to fully appreciate and savor the little moments of perfection in life, you have to slow down enough to recognize them.

For example, last Saturday I had the rare treat of a whole day off from work.  I went to Starbucks and drank coffee while I read a book.  I went shopping with my best friend and bought a cute outfit, and I had the pleasure of meeting another friend's three-year-old son for the first time.  I am not exaggerating when I say that the hour I spent putting together puzzles, racing Hot Wheels, and playing Ironman was maybe the most blissfully joyful hour I've had in a long time.  I pushed everything off my plate for the day and just savored those little pieces of joy, and it was the perfect.  I am definitely thinking a few more days like that may be in order.