slowing down life

I consider myself an ambitious person.

I also consider myself to be a meticulous planner and fairly organized, but this week really threw me off my game. Seemingly without warning, midterms rolled around and I began my careful balancing act of intense studying, Japanese, two jobs and free time. I still had projects to complete for school and Japanese to study yet I was working 35 hours a week at two different jobs on 5 hours of sleep.

My tipping point came this morning, as I looked in my yellow planner and glanced at some records I had taken this month. It jumped out at me in red pen: 'Sign up for classes on the 24th'. I frantically looked at the day I realize that I had totally forgotten to sign up for the spring 2019 semester because I had been so busy. 

How could I have possibly forgotten?

Glancing at my schedule, I realized that I had to work from 6 to 10 in the morning, then ate breakfast before dashing off to my 2:30 to close shift at the mall, so I must have forgotten in the rush to get to work. 

I just spent the last 20 minutes frantically sending out emails to Professor's asking for permission numbers so I could take their courses. Just like that, my final semester of college that I had meticulously planned was thrown-together haphazardly. With this, my mind was made up. I decided that, though I really enjoy working at the tea shop, I needed to give myself more time to relax. If I'm being frank: the hours and the money just didn't add up and though I love working there I realized that it's taking up a lot of my time that I could be spent resting. Not to mention I have pretty lofty ambitions for the semester as I'm trying to get a 4.0. 

So what's the point of this post?

I'm trying to slow down my approach to life. For me, slowing down by one degree is like slowing down 1000. I'm used to obsessively multitasking and trying to learn new things and climb up the ladder as much as I can, but my body is exhausted from the constant get up and go. I'm missing out on moments that are happening right in front of me, college days are passing by that I will never get back. In my typical Alice fashion, I'm only appreciating something because it's fleeting.

I'm missing out on sleep that I could use to make my day smoother. I'm missing out on time with my friends, and opportunities to make new ones. No one ever explains how hard it is to juggle a social life, work, school, eating right, working out, getting good grades etc. Whenever I feel like I'm accomplishing something there always seems to be something else that I'm failing it. 

The moment I start eating really well and working out I noticed that I'm slacking at studying Japanese. When I start picking up on my Japanese and really making my efforts consistent I notice I'm not getting enough sleep at night which makes me cranky during my shifts at work. When I'm scheduled a lot and work more shifts I realize that I'm missing out on time with my significant other. 

I've realized that I need to stop holding myself to the standard of 'perfect' on all fronts so I've decided to pick and choose what I feel would benefit me most and ultimately refocus my goals. I only get one body in my life, and it should be my priority to take care of it.

I recently started going to Bible studies and reading about different religions. I don't personally identify as Christian or any other specific label because I like to learn from everyone and see what I resonate with and what I don't. I recently picked up a book about Paganism, specifically the Wiccan division of paganism. I'm really enjoying some of the fundamental lessons they have in there that correspond to mindfulness, and I want to work on trying to apply those in my life. 

I wouldn't necessarily call myself Pagan or Wiccan for following these teachings just like I wouldn't necessarily call myself a Christian for going to Bible talks or reading the Bible at night. 

I like being a free spirit, and I'm going to free myself even further by returning to my roots and focusing just a little more on self-care.

photo I took in 2017, I thought it fit well here :)