There are two things which I’m beginning to appreciate are in very limited supply: my time, and my energy.
Time in the sense that there are only so many hours in the day to get things done, and you need to keep enough aside for washing your bits, eating halloumi and sleeping through your 6:30am alarm, and energy not only in the physical sense of your body eventually becoming tired, but also in an emotional and social sense. Emotionally exhausting situations are exactly that - exhausting - and being under stress all day, every day will eventually take its toll. The same goes for social energy; whilst some people have more than others (I’m, admittedly, the latter), small talk, long chats, meetings, emails and dinner dates all require you to give a certain amount of yourself, and at some point, the loving levels run dry and all your left with is a ‘hmpFFFghh’ in place of ‘yes Keith, my Christmas ~ was ~ very festive’.
I’m beginning to understand that I’m very precious about my time and my energy, and feeling as if either of those things are being wasted is one of my biggest bugbears. I’m recognising that when people are late for meetings or when I’m asked to engage in activities or events that don’t really have a purpose, I’m feeling irritated not because of the task or social situation at hand, but because I feel my time is being undervalued or taken for granted.
Take my numerous phone calls to our previous tenants’ energy company last summer, for example. They were trying to charge us £350 for 10 days worth of supplying an empty house, and it took me weeks of repeated phone calls to themselves, British Gas and multiple unsolicited debt collectors to get it sorted. What a colossal pain in the fucking arse that whole saga was, but it wasn’t the outrageous money grabbing that wound me up, it was the endless phone calls to the same departments, having the exact same conversation time and time again that really got my goat, because this was time I could have been spending working or asking Keiran for foot rubs or stalking my ex-boyfriend to make sure he’s not doing as well as me (come on, we all do it, right?).
I remember when I quit my marketing job last summer and decided to take the plunge with blogging as my main source of income, time and energy were the largest factors in making that decision. I’d reached a point where I had plateaued, and growing beyond that either going to be extremely slow whilst I still dedicated a lot of myself to my “proper” (lol) job, or was going to require me taking blogging full-time in order to give it the time and energy it deserved. It was a difficult decision in terms of taking a risk, but an easy one in terms of knowing the right thing to do. With every meeting and every project and every email I sent at work, I was reminded of what I could achieve if I spent that time on my own business, and not somebody else’s. It made sense.
You have to be selective with how you spend your T&E, but I’m not saying that you should only speak to your friends and family. Aside from the fact that you might end up jobless and penniless, you’d also find yourself facing real difficulty when venturing into the McDonald’s Drive Thru. Nobody wants that.
We have to go to work, we have to pretend to be mates with people we don’t necessarily like, and sometimes, we have to waste hours on the phone to an energy company that isn’t even our own, reaffirming for the sixth time that no, a £350 bill for 10 days of supplying an empty house is not reasonable (I’m not bitter ~ at all ~). Often we are required to invest time and energy into situations, environments and individuals that, if given the freedom, we wouldn’t choose naturally, because that’s just how everyday life is. And actually, these situations encourage us to push ourselves and adapt, as well as teaching us how to be smarter with the hours that we do have. It makes us appreciate more how fleeting those 24 hours a day are.
Instead, I’m saying you should be mindful of how much time and energy you waste on interactions that aren’t worth it, or on issues that have since passed. Yes, it is annoying when you’re asked to do a job which you know is pointless, but once it’s done, why allow said task to drain you more than it has to? Finish up, section it off in your mind and move on. The same goes for any people in your life that end up exhausting you emotionally. Don’t let the interactions extend beyond what they need to be - don’t, after spending hours with that person, then dedicate even more hours to stewing over how they’ve upset you or to being frustrated with yourself for not handling the situation differently. Recognise what went wrong and reflect in a positive way, of course, but guiding yourself into being upset for the sake of being upset is simply wasting time and energy that you could be channeling into something you love.
You’ll know the analogy by now: if you had £86400 in your bank and you lost £10, would you throw the rest away? Or would you move on and live? We each have 86400 seconds in a day, so sacrificing 86390 of those for the sake of 10 seconds lost or stolen is cutting your nose off to spite your face. It’s needlessly self-destructive, and you end up losing more of what you wanted to keep in the first place.
Be selective with your time and energy. Keep some time aside for you, and don’t feel the need to justify it. Don’t waste your limited supplies on situations or individuals that don’t matter, and don’t let yourself slip into negativity for the sake of negativity. So the barista at Starbucks was a dickhead to you - so what? Furiously tweeting and relaying the story six times over to everybody you meet just means that you’re carrying the upset with you longer than you need to. Call him a choice few words in your mind, and then let it go. You’ll be the happier for it, I promise you.
Make today a good one sassy queens x
Most of my blog posts start the same way: me, sitting in my favourite coffee shop, staring at a blank...