I keep bumping into examples today where advice I give other people is also good for me, and vice versa.
First, this morning, on Unnamed Social Media Site, a friend of mine lamented about how she struggles to do everything she has to do in life, and can't seem to find time to even rest.
I told her she was being way too hard on herself , and suggested that if she makes her own well-being a priority, maybe she would feel less overwhelmed.
Cue irony in 3, 2, 1...
I was telling my girlfriend Squee all about this, as I was driving to work this morning. This was after the very good, very long day I had yesterday, when I got up around 4:30 in the morning, spent several hours coding at my side project, went to work, fought rain and traffic in a torturous commute, wolfed down way too much dinner, then proceeded to work until late on the side project again, then tossed and turned all night, still thinking of said side project. This resulted in me: having trouble getting up, missing out on work on the project, missing out on going to the gym.
By trying to do everything, I wound up not able to do much anything, beyond the minimums my day required of me today.
But, giving my friend advice to be gentle to herself, combined with Squee's careful eye upon me, helps me see that what's good for others is also vital for me, too. I need sleep. I need to eat right. I need to work out, and take care of myself, physically. Bouncing back and forth between awesome supercapable day and terrible burnout day is no way to live.
So, it's getting on towards the end of my work day, when I get an email from a podcast listener, as follows:
I am working on practicing mindfulness as a way of decreasing anxiety. What's the phrase that you say on many of the podcast episodes? Something like "Where am I? What am I doing?"
So, here's what I told them.
You're talking about The Two Most Important Questions in the Universe™. They are:
"Where are you?"
"What time is it?"
The answers being that:
You are here.
It is now.
Which are actually the only time and place you can be, although we frequently lie to ourselves and pretend otherwise.
That's some damn good advice. It's funny how as I give it to someone else, I'm kind of re-giving it to myself, all over again. Sometimes I lament, for comic effect, what a pain in the ass the universe is, my ever-present, always-giving, provider-of-lessons. And while sometimes the way these things jump out at me really is annoying, mostly it's a blessing that I'm grateful for every single time it happens.
So, I'm going to go home now, and take back roads, drive slowly, and listen to an audiobook I am enjoying. Then I'm going to relax, and go to bed on-time for a healthy bed time.