Selfishness & Priorities

In interviews and on some versions on my resume, I mention that one of my valuable skills is being able to prioritize tasks. In an objective sense, this is true. Give me a bunch of things that need to get done, and I have no problem deciding how and when to do the tasks. Four new hire files to audit? Personal development plan that needs revision? Three inch stack of motor vehicle reports to audit? Quality check corrections? Code cleanup for a client? Compiling and organizing information for the OneNote notebook on electronic on-board recorders? Revise and distribute meeting notes from the morning’s conference call? It will all get done. (For the record: quality check corrections, meeting notes, two new hires, half the motor vehicle reports, code cleanup, two new hires, last half of motor vehicle reports, OneNote project and personal development plan if time allows.)

Look at this portion of my cubicle and be impressed.

Look at this portion of my cubicle and be impressed.

Short-term planning is not an issue for me. Long-term planning is difficult. My typical planning skills don’t translate to my life-planning. I realized this today, when I got home after 7, nearly too tired to shower or eat.

I will be getting my own apartment in June, and I was made aware of the fact that I have virtually no savings. So, I decided to pick up some extra hours at work to store some money away for when I’ll be living without a roommate. I’ll need to get a few pieces of furniture, a set of pans, possibly a television, and probably a dozen odds and ends I won’t think of until my toilet’s clogged and I’m wondering how I could be so stupid to live without a plunger. Also, I’d like to get a car that was made post-Y2k.

Hush. It was a straight road. 150,000mi deserves a damn picture because Facebook.

Hush. It was a straight road. 150,000mi deserves a damn picture because Facebook.

I’m still training for that 5k I mentioned a few weeks back, so I was at the gym for an hour. My 5k time is still hovering right around 36ish minutes since I slacked off for a couple weeks. I try to run more if I can, but I’m not always motivated.

Hey self! You're too slow.

Hey self, you’re too slow.

When I got home, I wanted to read the book on Scientology (L. Ron Hubbard was an evil, manipulative genius. Going Clear is sensational.). Then I wanted to respond to my penpal’s letter I received late last week. Then I got a shiver from my ceiling fan cooling the sweat on my back, so I was reminded I needed to shower. Then my stomach grumbled and I realized I needed to make something for dinner. Then I remembered a new episode of New Girl was on and I wanted to watch that. Then I remembered the two essays I still have to write for a scholarship I’m applying for.

Then I remembered I want to write. I want to blog more. I want to churn out new content on a regular basis. But I also want to revisit drafts I’ve allowed to pile up for the last year. I want to write that one essay on maturity that’s been bouncing around my head for two years. I started wondering what I was doing with my life. And then Vince called.

Libraries are great for blogging abotu your childhood journals.

Libraries are great for blogging about your childhood journals.

What do I want more? A cute apartment? A new car? A final draft of those essays? A warm meal? The ability to run 5k in less than 38 minutes without wanting to hurl afterward? A mutually fulfilling relationship? Another finished book? My vibrato and bow hold back?

I like to confuse my upstairs neighbor by quickly alternating between Bach, irish jigs, and bluegrass waltzes.

I like to confuse my upstairs neighbor by quickly alternating between Bach, irish jigs, bluegrass waltzes, and classic Frank Sinatra tunes.

I try to accomplish the big things I feel I can control, which usually leaves the smaller things to fall to the side. As a result, I work too much and save my personal pleasures like writing, playing violin, and reading for that ever-elusive “later.”

It should be a law that Sunday mornings are meant for paper books and breakfast in bed.

It should be a law that Sunday mornings are for paper books & breakfast in bed.

I try to keep things in perspective when I plan my day: hitting my 5k goal isn’t something I can just decide to do one day. It takes time, a lot of miles put in on the treadmill, and just the right selection of songs on Spotify. Driving a decent car and furnishing my first sans-roommate living quarters will take money I don’t currently have and since overtime is available, I need to take advantage of it.

As much as I’d like to write more, it maintains an air of abstraction. It will never be done. No matter how great a piece ends up, there will always be more to write. I’ll never say, “Okay, I’ve done all the writing. I can move onto all the violin-playing, and then onto all the book-reading.”

What I’m going through right now is too selfish to be adulthood. An adult is able to provide support and affection for her family. An adult selflessly spends time with a partner. An adult doesn’t get upset when a day goes by without reading. An adult puts others’ needs before her own.

I know that at 25 I am a woman for all intents and purposes, but my obsession with my own  whims almost certainly categorizes me as a girl.

I’m not sure if I should feel bad about that.

Sunday Morning Jog

I had what you might call a bout of insomnia this morning. It’s probably not fair to call it insomnia since it started at 5am. But come on. It’s Sunday. On a three day weekend. I should be sleeping in till at least 10:30 like a normal 20-something, right? My body was not having it though. Naturally, I tweeted about it. You know, like people used to do in the 90s when they wanted to broadcast something nobody else actually cared about.

Twitter InsomniaMy friend Logan replied and said “No. Just get up and go running.”  I scowled, knowing he was right. To be honest, the idea of sitting in bed waiting for sleep to come repulsed me. Eventually I would have probably dozed off and fallen asleep for 20  minutes or so, then I would have spent the rest of the day in a sloth-like state. So I updated my ipod shuffle with a Hood Internet mixtape and went on my way.

I normally only jog about a mile, but I decided to combine two of my normal routes, making it a 3-mile loop. I’ve been thinking of training for a 5k. But just that – thinking about it. Right now it seems like a sort of nice thing to imagine myself doing. “Yeah,” I think. “That would be really cool to be the sort of person who runs 5ks.” I realize that 5ks are not very impressive. Especially when there are people who run marathons. Or do triathlons. A measly 3.1 miles seems like nothing.

The hardest part is the mental block. I don’t know how people have the willpower to run 24 miles.

I’ve tried several things:

  • Reminding myself that if I run faster, it’ll be over sooner. Yeah, I don’t care so much when it’s done. In that moment, I hate running and I don’t care if I have to crabwalk home, I just want to stop moving my limbs like that.
  • Imagining fitting into that silk origami dress that’s been sitting in my closet since 2009. I wore it to a wedding once and haven’t touch it since then. In that moment, I don’t care about the dress. It’s not that cute anyway and I’m okay with wearing non-constricting yoga pants until I cross into muumuu territory.
  • Reminding myself that nobody likes a fat girl in skinny jeans. In that moment, I vow to wear bootleg or wide-leg jeans, ignoring the redundancy of the latter. Any flowy tops that necessitate skinny jeans will be donated to make room for muumuus.
  • Remembering what I look like naked and how I don’t want anybody to see it. In that moment, my lack of physical intimacy ceases to be a problem and I’m suddenly thrilled that I won’t be having sex for the foreseeable future. Also, muumuus.

Today, I was able to push through it by paying attention to the beat of my music (it was just in time with my pace) , but towards the end I felt like I was going to hurl, so I ended up walking for about a block to recover. It doesn’t matter if I run one or five miles, once I get back to my apartment and I finish stretching, I look in the mirror and know I could have done more. In that moment, I’m tempted to go back outside and run another mile.

Normally when I jog, I pass a few other people working on their fitness. The only creatures I encountered this morning  was a flock of geese, and I was glad to find that they weren’t as violent as the ones who used to chase me through the park in Oshkosh. It made the morning seem like a sort of a sort of blessing, which made my run feel like a meditation (done to mashups of hiphop and indie songs). I knew I wouldn’t regret getting out of bed, but the quietness of my neighborhood at 6:30 was as much a reward as anything else. I cooled down with a little yoga in my sunny living room before having breakfast and coffee on my patio.

I love my sleep as much as anybody else, but this was a great way to start my day. However, I won’t be surprised if my bed calls me for a nap this afternoon.