I don’t have time to write this post. I also don’t have the energy to not write this post. That might sound contradictory, but when I was messaging with my dad for the first time since he and Mom came to Peru for a hybrid visit-vacation, he managed to sneak in a piece of advice that is still sitting with me now, days later: “ok. Still make time for yourself.”
Even as I mentally scoffed at that prospect, the importance of his words is untarnished. Indeed, they may even have been strengthened by my initial reaction. In between lesson-planning, work events, work meetings, 45-minutes to one-hour combi rides to and from school, slowly growing a part-time freelance writing business, salsa/bachata classes three times a week, the occasional morning run, trips to San Camilo for fresh produce each week, weekend excursions (and, yes, shenanigans)…there really is no “in-between.”
And yet, there do exist choices wherein I can actively create that in-between. And today, I really needed to do just that. Lately, I’ve been feeling tired and discouraged as I transition from one obligation and one activity to the next. I’ve been taking solace in the little things, like giant homemade breakfasts and fresh, strong coffee. But this morning, I forgot to put water in the French press before putting it on the stove, and the thing got so hot that the rubber handle just melted right off, clunking onto the stove. What was worse, I blamed everything and everyone but myself before I finally realized that it was of my own, albeit accidental, doing.
I shouldn’t be taking solace in giant homemade breakfasts and fresh, strong coffee. I should actively be enjoying it. So, that’s what I did. After a mini-series of events that snowballed into a frustrating morning, I told myself “enough.”
I could have gone home and made myself a big homemade breakfast and rushed to get the dishes done before the food cooled (because I don’t like knowing there are dirty dishes waiting for me), but then I also might have wandered around and passively eaten other food that I wasn’t even hungry for before lying on my bed and wasting heaps of time on my social media feeds. So instead, I took myself out to breakfast at La Dispensa, and I journaled and ate by myself and mentally let myself set down the mental to-do list that never seems to end.
I still have things to do. But what do I need to do, right now? I need to make a lesson plan for today (apologies to our academic coordinator, I’ll do better next week). I need to start reading this Isabel Allende novel that I’ve been carrying around with me for a week now but have yet to attempt. I need to find that balance between myself and my life.