Seriously. Every once in a while, I get so overwhelmed I feel like crying. There are too many bills. There’s not enough money. There’s not enough time.
I played intramural soccer at my alma mater, Boston University. It was extremely fun and a great stress reliever for me, especially in the midst of university academic demands.
I always remember this one girl – her name was Katy. I’d show up to games, completely frazzled, because I had an exam the next day, a paper due the day after, and a presentation the day after that. (#firstworldproblems) I was pretty much a professional angster. I ran up one day, three minutes before our game was scheduled to start, with a backpack smashed full of textbooks, having come from the library straight to the game. I’d had to pull myself away; part of me felt guilty for ever taking a break from studying.
While we stretched, my teammates and I commiserated about midterms, finals, papers, et al. I whined profusely about my workload, and Katy listened empathetically. She had two papers due the next day, and two due the day after that. Plus two exams thrown in there somewhere.
I stared at her in disbelief, thinking that there was NO WAY I would be at a soccer game if I had that much on my plate. “How are you not freaking out?”
She shrugged. “I just figure, it’ll all get done eventually.”
I laughed – rather, I half-laughed-half-cried. “Yeah, but how?”
I think about that exchange a lot. When I look around at the things I get overwhelmed by, the things I have to do – all of those thingsget done eventually. And it doesn’t take pink envelopes or nervous breakdowns or legal action to get them done. When I start to get overwhelmed, if I take a beat, if I take a breath, I remember that worry and angst do not get things done; they just take away my peace of mind and my joy.
Things always get done eventually. I also remind myself of this on days when I get home from work, I’m tired, I’m cranky, and the last thing I want to do is set up auto-pay for a bill or call my health insurance company. Does it have to get done today? No? Then it’s okay to give myself permission to do it the next day, or the next week.
You can’t put things off forever – you have to know yourself well. Are you procrastinating something important that is really important to your health, your family, or your bank account? Is it better for you to have a strategy of do it now?
For me, I never do put things off forever. They always get done eventually. It’s better for me to know that I can take a moment, take a day off, take a deep breath, and know that things always get done eventually.