On Staying Busy & Being Myself

It really is incredible how much activity you can fit into your life if you really try hard enough. About 10 years ago, if I had known exactly what I would have been up to in 2010, I would have laughed in disbelief.

Currently, I’m working full-time, taking two paralegal classes and am very involved in a woman’s club. I also have a lot of really great friends and acquaintances that I enjoy spending time with and a family who needs me now more than any other time in my life. Writing that down, it just doesn’t seem like a lot. But we all know that I wear myself out most days. I have to force myself to stay home in the evenings, even during weekdays, because there’s always something going on.

Working women know exactly what I’m talking about! It’s just how we are. In fact, I get angry with myself that other women my age can juggle all of that and much more. The Big Three, as I call them: a house, a husband and kids or some combination of the three. But I get so stressed just from the personal responsibilities I have. I’m doing well if I walk out the door with a clean and moisturized face. I can only imagine having to feed and clothe someone else…and then take care of a child too! πŸ˜‰ This undue stress that I put on myself doesn’t always make sense to me, but that’s how it is at the moment. However, for the most part, I’m living the twenty-something life in terms of responsibilities, but with a thirty-something’s mind and body. Let that simmer for a moment. πŸ™‚ 

I am a “Jane of all social circles and a mistress of none.” Though by nature I am an introvert and tend to thrive and “recharge” when I’m alone, I run with a lot of different groups and get along well with different types of people. However, I don’t consider myself as the It Girl. I’m usually behind the scenes with a loud guffaw and something really silly or snarky to say. But I’ve never been the popular one in a group. Don’t know why that is. For the most part, it’s because I’m having to force myself to be more outgoing and it doesn’t always work.

I also try very hard not to fall into what I’ve dubbed the “chameleon trap.” I like being completely and totally myself with different people, and that often means being painfully honest. I try to live my life with politeness and tact, but if I don’t like something, you will know it almost immediately. That tends to push away people who don’t know me very well, and I hate that, but that’s how it is. I also hate it when I feel that I have to act and be a certain way in order to fit in. Fitting is what we did back in middle and high school. I’m a grown-up now, my own person, but it’s tough to remember that.

That’s why I take it so personally when other people don’t like me. Many people can just say, “Ah, it’s okay. If they don’t like me, so what?” I don’t think I will ever be this way, at least not fully. Sure, as time passes, the hurt and the awkwardness goes away somewhat. But it truly does bother me when other folks don’t like me — even if the reasons are frivolous. Why? I am a people pleaser. I want to make others happy constantly at the expense of my own happiness (and also sanity). The phrase, “You can’t save everyone” has been said to me several times this summer.

My overactive brain is the primary reason why I keep busy. I have the most colorful and vivid imagination – for better or for worse. Once I enter into a new situation, within seconds, I’ve come up with about three different scenarios that could possibly happen – some are positive and others are not-so positive. I have to keep active, because when I’m idle, I have way too much time to think. And because I’m a perfectionist, I spend most of my time thinking about all of the things that are “wrong” in my life….

And, yes, it is a great personality trait to always want to live better and be a better person. But a true perfectionist like myself can also be seen, especially on the outset, as spoiled, lazy, aloof, absent-minded and cluttered. I often don’t even begin a task, let alone finish it, unless I know I will do it exactly right, complete the task in one sitting and have the perfect frame of mind. That means there’s always a lot of things that don’t get done. I have to remind myself constantly that even just doing one small part of a task is an accomplishment or that I have to work through something even if I’m grumpy or exhausted.

So how busy are you? Do you keep your life simple or constantly full of activity? Let me know I’m not alone!


4 thoughts on “On Staying Busy & Being Myself

  1. The hardest thing to do when you have multiple social outlets is to be yourself. If someone won't accept you for that, there is no "Why?" because there are dozens of other people who will.

  2. I like you must keep myself busy. I have gotten older now and although "busy"ness made me feel better in high school and even college, it takes it's toll in adulthood, but I can't let go of it. I am a thinker too so any idol time is taken up with thoughts. I must say that I don't have much idol time so perhaps that is where the attention deficit disorder that has been appearing so comes from while doing other tasks. I have been told my many that I think too much or that I am overthinking an issue. I have multiple sclerosis now and you would think that would have taken some of the busy work out of my life, but technology has sooooo helped me get busy in others way tnat my limitations caused by my MS are obsolete. I will be completely worn out, but beside me in my bed will be my laptop and my cell phone in which I am responding to an email, reading something online, etc. I said all of that to say, you are not alone by far. I too an introvert, would rather have it no other way!!!

  3. Thank you both for your comments. It's nice to know I have friends and acquaintances who understand my dilemma! Tammy, I congratulate you on being able to live a full, meaningful life with your condition. I am subscribing to your blog today! You give me hope that even when I'm just feeling a little tired that I can have a full day!

  4. Thank you so much!!! I think sometimes it is all about how we choose to view things. I must admit, some days I truly struggle, but at the end of the day I look back and am just thankful to have made it through another day. Thank you for following my blog. I have so much in my head that I am glad it hasn't exploded and the blog although it is not the best, is a great way for me to release some of those thoughts.Thank you again!!!

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