Thoughts on Being In Limbo

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I read this thought on Pinterest the other day that life challenges us in two ways: either by throwing everything at us at once or by throwing us nothing at all. And I remember when I first read that, I immediately thought, “Why on earth would it be hard to be hit with nothing at all?”

Well, now I think I know.

Right now I’m in a bit of a limbo stage–a no man’s land where I’m caught between the triumph of the past couple months and the upcoming struggles of the new few. In April, I ran my first marathon and finished student teaching. In May, I graduated from college, got a brand-new calling, celebrated my one-year anniversary, and got my first teaching job. And now in June, I’m . . . unemployed (for the summer anyway) and trying my best not to completely waste away my time in idleness. I knew it was bad when someone said to me the other day, “I called you because I knew you’d have nothing else to do.”

I keep trying to tell myself not to stress out too much over the fact that I don’t have anything to do. Most days, I’m pretty happy knowing that I’m available if anyone needs me and that I have the time to relax and do whatever I want. But the problem is that I am a naturally driven person–I like being able to work towards big goals and accomplish them, I like ending each day knowing that I’ve been productive and accomplished a lot.

The problem is, it’s been awhile since I’ve felt that.

My life this week seems driven by only two factors: helping Matt pass calculus and making sure our house is presentably organized and clean before we have a whole lot of company over this weekend. But the problem with having too little to do is this: you lose all motivation to do anything.

My mom has often said, “If you want something to get done, give it to a busy person.”

I totally know what she means. When I am busy, I feel like Superwoman–I can get enormous loads of work done because I know that the only way to keep afloat is to utilize every second of each day that I have. When I’m less occupied, I rationalize that I can keep putting it off until later, until days or even weeks have passed without the thing getting done, and I have nothing to show for how I’ve spent my time.

Over the past week, I have been brainstorming ideas of what I can do to use my days more productively. I was thinking of the movie Tangled (yes, I get inspired by cartoons) and was thinking that I should divide up my days into one-hour segments to devote to various hobbies/talents (for example, one hour to playing the piano, one hour to baking a new recipe, one hour to drawing, etc.). And while this seems like a great idea on the surface (and would be, if I could find some way to keep myself accountable for it), I just don’t think it’s going to cut it.

So now what I’ve tentatively decided is that I’m just going to create a master To-Do list for every month, and by the end of every month, I will need to have crossed off everything on the list. I figure this way, I’ll still be able to plan my days as flexibly as I need and also enjoy them, but at the same time, I won’t be completely wasting my days in idleness.

I know that you might be thinking, “Man, I wish I had her problem.”

And I’ll acknowledge that my life is pretty great and that I’m pretty much just nitpicking here.

But this blog is a place where I let my thoughts roam, and this is where my thoughts were roaming today.

Thanks for coming along for the ramble.

Oh, and if you have any ideas of great hobbies that I could pick up or (free) things I could do around town, you feel free to leave me a nice long to-do list in the comments section. Thanks.

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