Lately, my days feel filled to the brim.
On the days I have Mia, I am up at 6:15 and out the door by 6:50 for the hour and 10 minute drive to and from her school.
Work starts at 8:00 and has been remote since late March, but working from home isn’t the at-my-pace-lounge-on-the-couch-while-working experience I had previously conjured up in my head.
Work has changed. I am the Executive Assistant to our CEO. But, I also: answer phones. I sell carts. I sell parts. I sell service. I handle all chargeback requests, update our inventory on our website, handle any marketing requests that come in, various AR/AP issues and many ad hoc tasks that pop up.
Because I am helping to answer the calls that come in to our main line, I have to be glued to my laptop all day. I am more sedentary than ever because of this.
(Please don’t get me wrong. I am SO GRATEFUL to even have my position, and I love what I do. I am simply pointing out how things have changed.)
Any spare minute I get from my work load throughout the day goes towards handling Dad’s affairs. Calls with the probate lawyer and social security and mortgage company and bank and hospital. Email follow ups, trying to get online access to his accounts, paying his bills, planning his longterm care.
Lunches everyday are spent cleaning the house. While this may be a self-imposed chore, having a tidy house while working from home is very important to me for my mental health and overall productivity.
When work ends at 5:00, it’s picking Mia up from school or ballet, dinner prep, bedtime routine with Mia, pack lunch for the next day, and then crash. Rinse and repeat.
Sure, some days are more relaxed than others, but overall, I have a pretty busy schedule right now. I am the kind of tired that sleep doesn’t fix.
And I’ve recently noticed something peculiar. Amidst all of the chaos and hecticness, I find myself craving a break, craving alone time, craving quiet.
And do you know what happens when I finally get that opportunity?
“Hmm, what do I want to do? What will make me happy right now?”
Do you know what a difficult question that is to answer?
The truth is, while I have been dutifully working for my job and for my family and worrying about the pandemic and the uncertainty of the future in almost every facet of my life, I have completely lost sight of myself.
Free time makes me anxious because I don’t know what to do with it.
Who am I if not the caretaker, the ambitious employee, the guilty mom?
Who am I when I’m not putting other people first?
Honestly, I don’t know. I am not even sure how to go about figuring it out. Is it dumping money into various hobbies I may or may not like? Is it starting a business that excites me? Is it running a half marathon?
Or is it smaller than that? Is it learning to trust my decision making? Learning not to carry the weight of other peoples’ opinions?
Or, is it to stop trying altogether? Stop putting so much pressure on myself to constantly be doing something? Maybe it’s learning how to sit still, sit in silence. Maybe it’s to stop obsessing over the past or worrying about the future and learning how to live in the moment.
I truly don’t know yet, but I am on a quest to figure it out. I am so tired of feeling lost, purposeless, and insecure.
I have to work on MY happiness, so that I can continue to show up for my family, friends, and work.