It's Saturday. I'm sitting here in my hotel room while on vacation. I've been wanting to write this blog post for a few days now. But, every time I open my computer, I've shut it.
Here's the background.
I struggle with always needing to do something to feel "productive". Feeling productive is a way I can give myself a gold star for accomplishing tasks that I set out and deem important. It's a really annoying mindset. Even on weekends, I create this big plan in my mind: you must get all of these things done. Then and only then will you have had a good weekend, because it was "productive".
The worst part about all of this? Well couple of things. First, in my head any weekend not spent doing turns out to be a bad weekend. And second, I unfortunately spread this to others in my life, and deem how good they're weekend went based on how much stuff they got done, or helped me get done.
Guys, it's a little toxic.
Here I am on vacation. On a beautiful beach. And before I left I had made my to-do list of everything I was going to get done or wanted to get done. How is that really a vacation? Isn't the point to unwind and relax? Now, I'm not saying that you should never do any work. My full-time job has moments where it requires me to plug in for a little while. Yes, I spent a little time every day going through my emails and making sure I wasn't falling behind on anything.
The big thing is the judgement behind not doing anything. Since I didn't get to my to-do list this week, does that make me an unproductive human being? Did I fail at this vacation? The even deeper aspect to all this? I'm not going to be in control all the time, and that's okay! Just because I didn't get to every single bullet and line item doesn't make me a failure at life.
This need for control goes really deep for me. It's attached to so many other insecurities we can talk about later. I realized more and more how hard it is for me to go with the flow, no matter how many times I declare that I'm a free spirit.
The concept of control, for me, goes back to the yamas of yoga. One of the yamas is aparigraha or non-attachment or non-possessiveness. I definitely get extremely possessive of my time. And the beautiful thing behind all of this at the end is that time cannot be owned. Patanjali sure had all of the answers when he was discovering this wisdom. It's just our responsibility to actually listen, understand, and most importantly, apply to our life.
I know this change isn't going to happen overnight. I still want my gold stars. I still like to tackle and accomplish my to-do lists. But, in the end, what is my intention? Just because I didn't spend my Saturday working away, just because I didn't take advantage of the free time I have while on this vacation--doesn't make me a bad person. I have the ability to be okay with not being in control (even if it's just for little bits of time).