There have been times when life has been so busy that I have felt like I’m caught up in a whirlwind and I am just trying to catch up…catch up to event invitations that I accepted, catch up to meeting friends and connecting; whether face to face, video calls, phone conversations, emails or texts. Then there is folding clothes after every laundry routine and ironing…yeah, my friends have expressed that I tend to iron more than most people they know. I even cringe when I see someone on the street with creased clothes. I feel like making an offer to iron what they’re wearing. Anyways, back to feeling like I’m in a whirlwind, I got to a point where I was tired of trying to catch my breath. I had to reassess.
Now, I mostly do not accept any invitations more than a week away, except if it’s a one in a lifetime kind of event like a wedding or graduation and so forth. There are times when I am organising an event or a group outing and there’s always one or two people who are constantly excited and talking about the event to come so much that I feel exhausted before the event arrives. It’s not that I don’t get excited about things. I will express my excitement the first time I hear about it or decide I am doing it. Then I plan. While I plan, I want to enjoy the process and details leading to the event. But if someone starts to tell me how they want to enjoy it and the things they want to do over and over…I start to feel as if they are giving me the experience prematurely then what’s the use of the actual experience? So I often tell those involved that they shouldn’t be surprised if I don’t talk about it, it does’t mean I am not excited, in fact I will have a genuine experience and fun at that occasion because I don’t put too much energy on the build up or create too many expectations in my head. I want to experience the actual occasion, what is and the moment.
Giving myself the opportunity to catch my breath means I’m also okay with doing the laundry in little bits and pieces. I am okay with coming home from work and not taking calls or texting and just be. I am okay with declining invitations even if it means I am home doing nothing, being with myself and being conscious of my breath, my thoughts and meditate or read or watch something funny and laugh out loud; alone or with my husband.
Pacing myself in everything has made me more thankful by giving thoughts of gratitude in the now. I am constantly in gratitude for everything. I give gratitude for big things like how my life is surrounded by love, family and friends to the feeling I get when I enjoy the sun’s rays on my face or when I am having a glass of water or taking a shower, or when I eat and taste my food to when I tend to plants and flowers on the deck and I tell them that I am grateful for their beauty. I notice when a stranger does an act of kindness and I say “thank you” looking at them so they know I have acknowledged their gift to me. The constant feeling of thankfulness makes me content and at peace.
As I thrive to be in a constant state of gratitude, I do get a little whirlwind now and then. There are times when a day just turns out to be a crappy one, notably, this happens more at work or when travelling and dealing with surprises in foreign places. I have learnt to take a moment to myself, breathe, then think of something that brings joy to my heart and I acknowledge gratitude for it. From there, I don’t dwell on the problem but I think of a solution. It all doesn’t feel like the end of the world after that. The most amazing part is that gratitude gives me more gifts in life that I keep being thankful for and the feeling of gratitude feels me with joy.