Learning to be present

“Kara, my favorite post was the one where you wrote about your Sunday fundaySunday Funday.

I was lying with my back on Keena’s living room floor, as she and Paula sat drinking on the couch. “Are you serious? The one where I wrote about basically nothing?”

Keena took another drink of her prosecco. “Hell yea. I was like ‘Thank GOD, the girl is finally learning to relax.’”

“You do realize I wrote that post because I hadn’t written anything in a week, right? It was a filler post.”

Keena gave Paula a look that said, help me out here, so Paula took over. “I wish you could see inside my head—actually change that, I don’t want you to see inside my head because I think you’d judge me—but I just wish you could understand how other people think for just one day.”

Keena and paulaI went into defense mode. “But I feel like I’m terrible about managing my time! I want to do all these things, but at the end of the day sometimes I just want to watch TV. Then I get stressed out about everything I didn’t accomplish because I was doing something useless like watching a movie.”

They both almost threw their drinks at me. “THAT’S HOW MOST PEOPLE THINK!”

Keena threw one last Hail Mary to make her point: “Kara, you judge the success of your day on how many things you accomplished. I judge the success of my day on whether or not I’m happy.”

F me. She had me.

I had two New Year’s resolutions this year:

  1. Compartmentalize my time
  2. Don’t set expectations

My two resolutions wrap-up into a single goal: When I’m at work, I want to be focused on my work. When six o’clock hits, I want to be into my workout. When I’m with my friends, I don’t want to be stressed as F thinking of all the things I didn’t get done.

Three weeks in (fingers crossed, the squat rack at the gym will once again be free) it’s going…ok. My leaf is halfway flipped.

I was g-chatting Keena this morning (I really need to make more friends) and I told her, “You know how you yell at me when I’m freaking out about productivity? That’s not really it. I think my problem is I have no idea how to be present.”

I don’t. I have no idea how I’m supposed to do that. I don’t even know where to start. And the only thing I’ve found that semi-works, is writing this shit down and letting all of you into my head.

So here’s what it’s like to be inside my head.

  • I cannot believe I pay $1400 in rent. If I lived in the Midwest, I would never pay $1400 a month in rent.
  • I don’t want to go run. I hate running by myself.
  • What e-mail campaign was I supposed to be working on?
  • My God I love DC. I never want to leave this place.
  • I wish I could get out of here so I could go run.
  • The holiday campaign. Where are my edits on that?
  • Is my butt getting smaller? Should I start doing more squats?
  • I’m so happy I don’t live in the Midwest. I hate winter. 
  • I haven’t written in my blog in a week. I should write a blog post.
  • I really wish I bought pears instead of apples at Trader Joes this week.
  • No, you promised an article to Primal Palate—do that first, then do your own blog.
  • I wish I had someone to workout with. Maybe I should join CrossFit.
  • The last time you bought pears you ate three in one day. That’s why you got apples.
  • F. Me. I have GOT to finish the holiday campaign.
  • When was the last time I washed my sheets?

[Man. Who’s thoughts are those? What a panicker.]

My friends told me to judge my day on whether or not I’m happy. All the things that run through my head—lifting, writing, blogging, living here—these are all things I enjoy doing. Just not when I try doing them all at once.

So apparently, I need to fix that. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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For All the F Words
You have flaws. You f-up on a daily basis. And that should be ok.