The Clarity of Realignment
Hey folks! I hope you’ve missed me, cause I’ve missed YOU! March was extremely transformative for me. It was the month I finally acknowledged we were in a new year (lol I know it’s the last week of April as I’m writing this…but I digress). I rode a high all of March. I posted a whole photo dump of some of the happiest moments on my Instagram, but boy did I struggle to pick 10 pics, to sum up the joy I experienced.
Some key moments are as follows:
two of my best friends were back in town after being away for a bit
I played a BUNCH of tennis with my dad & one of the coolest coworkers / friends ever
spoke on an alumni panel for my college business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi #ptbad
got to know some girls in my church community group on a deeper level
reconnected with some college friends
flew to Boston for work
There were so many more sweet & fun memories that were made, but those are the ones I can recall off the top of my head. Since coming down from the March high, April was quite different - almost the opposite even. Don’t get me wrong, April was full of exciting moments but it’s been more disciplining than anything else. This has been the most consistent I’ve ever been with any type of routine. I’ve been learning the value of balance and how that can change on varying levels. Most importantly, I’ve been learning how to embrace the “ugly” side of self-care / self-love.
Entering April, I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I feel alive again! God brought me so much life in March! Alright, April let’s go!!!” After bouncing from one social event to another, meeting floods of new people, actually acknowledging this new stage of life, feeling like myself again, & overall “living in the moment” more regularly than I typically have before, I knew that I was due for some intense TLC.
Despite coming from a family of 5, I’ve never struggled with being alone. I’m used to the life that a full house brings, and I (& the rest of my family) have our ways of recharging ourselves in different corners of our home. I fell in love with my “me” time the most during quarantine. I’m a natural ambivert, slightly, very slightly, leaning extrovert, but that other half of me craves the rejuvenation of solitude. I don’t want to go too heavily into this, but my job demands a bit out of me cognitively & relationally. It requires me to interact with a multitude of people daily. Most of these interactions involve strategic planning, data analysis, and overall facilitation of project planning with all parties involved in the current project. Due to the fast-paced / slightly sporadic nature of my job, I’m always needing to be on my A-game around the clock. Despite a rocky start, I truly enjoy my job, and it’s taught me plenty of lessons in the past 9 months. However, with such a demanding job, it’s easy to overlook my own needs and only focus on the “need-to-do’s” throughout the day. I knew something needed to change when I’d reflect on what I’d accomplished and realize how exhausted I felt. I wasn’t sleeping the best and that truly impacted my energy levels throughout the day as well.
Historically, I haven’t always been someone to cling to a routine. I’d have a list of “big” things that I’d do from week to week, but I usually carried out those tasks in whatever way I saw fit for the moment. I used to think that going about my day this way gave me the most liberty with how I distributed my time. Instead, I found myself tired, overwhelmed by even the smallest tasks, apathetic, & overall not the kind of person you’d want to be around (...I didn’t even want to be around myself at times). Although this past month I wasn’t that frigid, tight-knit person, my energy was pretty low. I was only ever “on” when I was at work or if I was going out with family & friends. Then it all hit me.
This is what I’ve been working up to. These past two months of readjusting what / who was in my life weren’t in vain. You did it. You made the hard decisions. You called the shots. Now it’s time to put in the work to make ‘em stick.
An aspiring NBA professional wouldn’t stop running drills after getting in one 3-pointer during practice or getting in a perfect and one. They’d continue to grind on their game over and over and over again. And when shots get messy or their defense is lazy, they take a break, analyze their game, realign, and go after it all over again. The same should be done with our perspective and practices in life. One routine isn’t fit for every stage of life - it BEGS for an adjustment, so I did ( / have been doing) just that.
The (Unaesthetic) Revamp
My work schedule is pretty consistent these days (...finally!!). For the most part, I work from home, but I
also go to the office once a week or travel to my project site. But typically my daily routine looks something like this:
Work: 7:30 / 8 am - 5 pm
Workout: 6 or 7 pm for at least an hour / hour & a half
Decompress / relax
Watch TV / playing a game on my switch
Write / read
Clean / organize my room
Go to bed
I have a pretty active social life, am consistently involved at my church, play tennis regularly, and enjoy spending time with my family (etc.)! So those things also fill in the cracks or push around the order of my routine on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes this routine feels tasking, especially with the “full” days or when there are last minute changes, but it helps me keep my mind focused. There’s more to life than just work, and it was really scary realizing how EASY it is to fall into the mindset that work is ALL you should be focusing on. I have passions & interests I want to grow in, relationships to cultivate, and experiences to be present in! It’s highly unlikely for me to enjoy or even experience those things if I’m not grounded to some degree.
Writing my routine made me feel plain - it's very much the definition of mundane, but there's so much restoration and peace that come in simple moments - cleaning, listening to an audiobook, watering my plants, etc. Self-care is deeply difficult for me. It’s my default to keep moving when I’m stressed or overwhelmed.
You can’t just sit out there. What’s my purpose? The goal? What needs to be done? How can we get there? Alright, move.
In doing simple tasks with the innocent intention of nurturing myself, I'm able to feed the movement my body craves while keeping myself in check. Holding myself accountable for how I take care of myself has been a BIG challenge, but in it, I’ve been able to experience that “liberty of time” I’ve wanted for so long. I hope this letter helps you in some form. Just know you're doing better than you may think you are, keep going! Take care of yourselves, friends!