It's called menoPAUSE- heck, maybe a "pause" would make it go a lot better!
First here’s an assignment: take a look at your calendar. How much empty space do you have this week—that’s not occupied by work, meetings, scheduled social events, classes, activities, workouts, kids’activities, social events, classes…you get the idea.
If the empty spots on your calendar occur at 2 AM while you’re sleeping, then you’ve probably fallen into the Busy Trap. This, according to New York Times blogger Tim Kreider is a widespread epidemic:
“Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. They schedule in time with friends the way students with 4.0 G.P.A.’s make sure to sign up for community service because it looks good on their college applications. I recently wrote a friend to ask if he wanted to do something this week, and he answered that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and maybe he could ditch work for a few hours. I wanted to clarify that my question had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation; this was the invitation. But his busyness was like some vast churning noise through which he was shouting out at me, and I gave up trying to shout back over it.”
So if your excuse for not doing the things you love, or not seeing your favorite people is that you are “too busy” you might want to reconsider your perspective. Because the side effect of all this busy-ness is less sleep, more stress, heightened anxiety, and the feeling of being caught up in a whirlwind, never getting a moment to breathe.
And add hot flashes, mood swings, and the other joys of menopause to the mix?
Can you say recipe for disaster?
Now, imagine that you have time to just read a book, stare into space, walk in the rain, window shop, or do anything that you find soul-nourishing. Not because you feel like you have to, but because that’s where the wind takes you in that moment.
Would you feel like you were wasting time? Would you know what to do with yourself? Would you actually be able to enjoy the moment?
As Kreider writes,
“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”
In short, life is too short to be busy. And if you are one of those super busy people, you might want to dial it down a bit, slow down, chew your food at least 20 times and enjoy the ride.