If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that the past few months have been extremely busy and stressful for me at work. Since mid-November, I’ve travelled on business no less than 23 days, planning and implementing events as well as conducting site visits for upcoming events. I’m tired, bitchy and frazzled. I feel fat and gross from all the restaurant food I’ve been eating while on the road. I don’t sleep well in hotels, which means I’m seriously sleep deprived. Although I want to create in my down time, I don’t have the mental or physical energy to put into projects, which makes me bitchier because I’m so frustrated at my lack of creativity/productivity.
Because I have been travelling so much and working so intensely during the week, I have tried to unwind as much as possible on the weekends. Unfortunately, this means I’ve been vegging out in front of the tv or spending countless hours on the internet, not making art or books or anything else productive.
Then last night I watched “A Good Year” starring Russell Crowe. And it got me thinking about living a much simpler, more pleasurable existence. Although living in Provence would certainly be conducive to such an existence, I started thinking about small things I could do to live “a good year”, despite the challenges I’m facing at the moment. Firstly, I need to be more mindful of the food I eat and make my meals a happier daily ritual. And so tonight, instead of ordering takeout as I would normally do, I went to the grocery store and bought a myriad of vegetables, fruit, cheese, dips and breads/crackers. I figured I’d have my own version of a Provençal meal, complete with a glass of red wine. It was wonderful to savour the small bits and pieces of food, instead of scarfing down the usual heavy, super-sized meal.
Reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert has also got me thinking about slowing down and taking care of myself more. So I won’t be taking off for Italy, India or Indonesia anytime soon, but I can certainly be more aware of what I eat (and only eat what brings me pleasure), take better care of my body (I think taking up yoga would be good to help ease my back pain), and just be more mindful about loving and enjoying my surroundings more.
Even though I can’t change the nature of my job (working as an events planner will always mean a crazy and hectic lifestyle, no matter how organized I try to be), I know that I need to utilize the slower periods of the year to plan, plan, plan in order to minimize the upcoming craziness and to recharge my batteries. And during the crazy periods, I need to take care of myself as best I can (by living the Provençal, or Italian, or Indian, or Indonesian way…).
I know the craziness at work will slow down considerably in about a month, at which time I’ll be able to take some much-needed vacation days, so until then I simply need to take small steps to preserve my (and B’s) sanity.
Baby steps. That’s what it’s all about.