“Beware the barrenness of a busy life”—Socrates
A typical day for me starts at 6 am. It seems early, but I’ve gotten used to it at this point. At first, it was because I wanted some time to myself when I was living with seven other people, but when I went back to school, it evolved into a time to get homework done. It became a necessity. It was extra time to get all of my assignments done.
I try to start my day with a five to ten minute meditation (it’s not something I always get to do), but it’s a good way to keep me grounded. I then get ready and go to work. My full-time job is at an addiction treatment center, doing insurance billing for our clients. I spend several hours on the phone each day talking to insurance companies, and making sure that the claims we submit get paid. This means spending the day repeating myself and arguing with insurance company representatives. The meditation definitely helps.
After I finish working at the treatment center, I go to my second job: I teach yoga at CorePower Yoga, in Boulder. It’s one of my favorite times of the day; I get to connect with people, and offer them a space in which to work through anything they might be dealing with, or to just guide them through some time to breathe. . .It is definitely the most satisfying part of my day.
After teaching, I return to my house where I begin working on my homework. I’ll usually do homework until 10:30 or 11:00 pm, and then I get ready for bed. I try to get to sleep around 11:30, so I can wake up and do it all again.
Now, this all might seem like a lot to pack into one day, and it is. But it is the way it is, for right now (only one more semester until graduation!), and that’s what makes it do-able. I would love to have more free-time, but I’ve signed up for all of these things, and when I make a commitment, I stick to it. It doesn’t leave me much time for a personal life, but it’s been worth it because I am actually pursuing the things that drive me and make me happy.
However, the older I get, the more I realize that I’ve been doing this for years – packing my schedule so tightly – because being busy felt the same as being successful. But it’s not the same. The more I think about it, the more I’ve come to realize that the business in my life was actually my inability to say “no” to things, and to prioritize my own needs. It was me putting the needs of others above my own.
I would always say “yes” to the things that people asked me to do because I didn’t want to disappoint them, and because it felt good when I was able to get those things done. I felt like I was successful because I was cramming so many things into my day. But I was burying myself under work and tasks because I wanted to feel useful, instead of making sure that I was taking care of myself.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the things that I want, like being a yoga teacher, and spending time with my friends, are just as important as the things that others want. I’ve begun to prioritize the things that are important to me (and those that I love), which is why I decided to go back to school and seek a degree in something I’m passionate about. I’ve pursued teaching yoga because it’s something that has brought so much joy into my life, and I want to share that joy with others. I work full-time to be able to support myself and stay independent, which is important to me.
So, while a day in my life might seem busy, it’s because I’ve made choices and commitments to better myself and to provide support for those around me. I’ve learned to prioritize the things that are important to me, and most importantly, I’ve learned to shed my old notions that being busy means being successful.