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Is Time Running Out?
“I’m a lazy fuck”
That was the last message I sent to my friend before switching on my system and writing this. I have put off writing to you, beloved, even though I have had a draft ready for two days now. I decided the draft was a tad sad so I decided not to send it to you. There is enough negativity than for me to be adding to it. But I am tired of waiting for happy energy to envelope me before sending out so here you go. It’s already four days late and I apologize for my lateness.
The text above was due in large part to the feeling that I am rapidly running out of time, that I am not doing enough and I need to have marked off certain milestones at my age. I am a firm advocate of not using negative words in self-speak so once I sent that out I realized how bad and overwhelming this feeling has gotten and I set to rectify that.
Lots of time, I keep thinking about driving myself to achieve a goal so much that even when I am not actively working towards said, it lingers on my mind. Seeing as these goals are more than one in different areas of my life, I always have multiple tabs open and anxiety triples. The fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic and as each day passes, certain deadlines that had been planned gets pushed a while longer worsens the feeling.
Rather than focus on the question of time running out, I'll rather provide answers and tips on reducing that feeling. Offer a ray of hope because I know - contrary to what my brain is telling me - I am not alone.
Slowing down: There is so much going on in the world, and we are imbued by it thanks to high-speed internet. This great deal of activity going on in the outside world breeds a ‘need to act’ which is a tad bit pressuring. Sometimes it feels like relaxing, letting go, or not being busy is time-wasting. I took a day off on Wednesday or so, not doing anything I was ‘supposed’ to do, yet I am still beating myself up about it. I need to learn to slow down and ground myself. I need to do the work of exploring balance and anchoring myself to present moments with a clear focus of the things I genuinely want. In doing this, I will be writing out my goals and sticking it where I can see it daily. Also, I am repurposing one of my numerous journals to be a gratitude journal. This is allow me focus and acknowledge of the wins, sit with it and be grateful for it. Basically a ‘count your blessing’ thing. Another thing I’m willing to try is reducing my use of social media. I’m not a heavy user per se, but twitter is the bane of my existence. If I can cut down my use by a third for a while, it’ll be a win. I've tried it a number of times and the highest I've been able to do is a little over 100 hours. This way I'll know where I'm going, where I'm coming from and reduce distraction (&comparison)
Falling in love with the journey: I realize that being focused on the outcomes - the goals, is one of the reasons I am feeling this way. The process is hard work, it’s solitary work, it’s drudgery. While I do not know how right now, I know that I have to find a way to be more in love with the process.
Get better at saying no: One of the ways to lose time is being focused on the unimportant. We live in a world where communication is done at the speed of light and one can be contacted on several different platforms by several other people to come help with this or that. Whether it is an invite to a webinar or a networking opportunity or someone asking for a favour, saying no might be better in the long run. I know if it’ll be too tasking, doesn't align with your goals and won't be a good use of my time, I'm allowed to say no. I do feel I'm currently doing good at this, and this is something you might want to try.
Having people you can talk to and be vulnerable with: While self-validation cannot be overemphasised, external validation is also very important. People thrive well when their efforts are appreciated and positively reinforced. After sending that one-liner text, I got a response back. ‘You are not a lazy fuck, dear. You are hardworking and you get things done.’ In the back of my head, I knew this to be true, but having it told to me reinforced that feeling, and I am spurred to do it as continue doing this, so even though it’s almost 2 am here and I’ve changed sitting positions about four times, I’ll finish this first draft of this to you, beloved. So, have your circle, remind people who they are, appreciate the efforts of your friends, and reach out to them if you need to. It’s a two-way street, really. And we are honestly in this together. Share the light, be the light. We will all be better off and grateful for it.
Now as the sage that I am, I don’t have any more tips, but if you do, please share. I absolutely love hearing from you.
First off, calm your narvvzzz with this before settling in for the Gist.
Now, Beloved, it’s been three weeks, yeah? So gist dey. I did well since we talked. The first week, I submitted two personal projects, did some freelance work, and was really good with interpersonal relationships. It was the second week that was a bit tasking. I was sick for a while - woke the house in the middle of the night for multiple vomiting episodes - later had cramps and it was just a lot. Thankfully I’m over it now. This is the third week, and let’s just say I’m glad for this weekend. We might be baking a cake so looking forward to that.
See ehn, in this house, I'm the unofficial teacher😭. Most times, you’ll hear me blasting off ‘multiplication table 6!’ or ‘two letters word!’ to my sister. I do physics, chemistry, and English too sef. In fact, if you need coaching for your younger ones, I get experience, I go teach dem. That’s kukuma what I have been doing, just ask for my rates abeg.
On reading, I did read lots of articles - I seem to be reading them more than books now. I finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and I’m still undecided about what to read next. The contenders are Atomic Habits by James Clear, She Called Me Woman, and Agbowò’s magazine (not like I can binge that anyway).
Ah-ah, I was interviewed by The Keeping Up With Suzanna, check it out here. What have you been up to, beloved?
If you’re a Muslim, welcome to the month of Dhul Hijjah. I pray your good deeds and duas are accepted this new month. Also, I pray your slay for Eid is unparalleled. You can send to me or tag me, I’ll love to see. Bonus point if you are a tech bro, bearded and rich🤰😋