One thing I’m learning to do here is balance stress and a never-ending to-do list with fun, leisure, and relaxation. Theoretically, one would think it should be easy to relax here. It’s easily the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived, and the Spanish culture itself is very much relaxed. Stress in Spain is nothing like stress in the US. When Spaniards experience stress, they do what they can do about it and then sit back with a glass of wine, free of worry. They accept the situation for what it is and move on. I’m doing my best to do the same. I often have days that I’m on my laptop all freakin’ day, except for the break I take to go running. I’m on it as soon as I wake up, at all meal times, and before I go to sleep. When I can’t sleep, I check my email. (WTF, self?) This is not the lifestyle I want for myself, and I’m taking steps to eliminate all this screen and work time. I need to learn to just enjoy without perfecting every little detail.
At the moment I’m supposed to be balancing part time freelance work with part time studying, creating a full-time schedule for myself. The problem is that I spend a little too much time on freelancing, which results in allotted study time being taken away from the LSAT. Which results in me taking hours out of my “leisure” time to study. Which results in me actually working on my computer well over full-time hours. In addition to the freelancing and LSAT studies, I’m taking Spanish class, training for a triathlon, running this blog, and just trying to be a human being that has fun. I actually do all that extra stuff because it is fun for me. I love it all very much, which is why I dedicate time outside of my “real” work to do all of the above.
That’s the reason multitasking is a curse and a blessing. I can do it, so I absolutely will. But it’s just not healthy. I don’t pause for meal times because, why would I when there’s work to be done? That’s the American mindset that I’m trying to break out of. I wrote a little bit about that in my post last week for Salty Running, An American Runner in Paris.
The next month for me is admittedly going to be hellish in my attempts to prepare for December. First on the calendar is the LSAT in Italy. The following weekend I’m running a triathlon in Malaga. Then I will be going back to France with my boyfriend for Christmas (eek, first Christmas away from home! Which you can be certain will be well-documented here). I’m jokingly referring to November as No Chill November because of my back-to-back preparation for my December events. I’m handling these tasks day by day, with a heavy schedule. It may sound daunting, but I’m making sure that time is set aside for fun, cultural events! Such as Halloween tonight, and the city’s Diwali celebration tomorrow. I’m also making sure that I’m not too hard on myself when I can’t follow the schedule strictly. It’s simply here to help me keep my tasks in line, not to rule my life.
In addition, this blog helps me address my stress. For me writing is as simple as thinking, and I look forward to coming here to share. I’ll keep you posted, but for now, let’s try to keep a little chill in our November, eh?