I wake up after a fitful night and roll over to send a text to my officemate: Going to stay home.
I went home early the day before, my body overwhelmingly protesting the very idea that I tried to leave the house. Today I have given in completely and after sending the text, I fall back to sleep for several more hours. I then wake up to a handful of requests for my attention: voicemails, emails, texts, my bladder. I ignore everything but my bladder, and as I stumble out of bed, I feel shrouded in overwhelm. So much to do, so little time to just enjoy a day, an hour, a minute (or just get well) without the pulls of another request, another need to answer.
It feels sometimes like everyone wants a piece of me, of my time, of whatever I have to offer. I am honored to be of need, but oh so often swamped by the constant of it all. I want to retreat and pull in to myself, to hide in my bed, to turn off all the devices that have access to my time, and just live that minimalist life I do so much research on.
After making some hot tea, I go back to my bed, my current sanctuary, and I keep my phone on Do Not Disturb, but it does little to stop the actual requests, needs, work, and “just saying hey” because they are still coming, as they do every day, and I can handle it all on most days, but then again, maybe I can’t, and maybe that’s why I’m sick again. My boundaries are invisible, and I pay them lip service only. Once again, I realize I am the only one who can call the shots, the only one who can say no to this and that and this and that, and only I can set limits that preserve my personal sanity.
I set about to do some personal writing as I continue to find sanctuary in my bed, pushing the world aside, taking my phone out of my bedroom, and this is what pours out, a cry to self that we need space, that we will run out of time and pieces of self if we don’t just stop, that we cannot answer every call, every request, every to-do. The clutter is too much, and we are overwhelmed and sick because we have not been strict with boundaries. A little push here, a nudge there, and the walls are down all over again. There is no protection without the boundaries. There is no wellness, no real quality of life. There is only do and work and go.
Yes, I nod, leaning in to read my words. Yes. Release. Visible boundaries. Does this or that or this or that add value to my life? Do I even have a life outside of the beckoning of others? It’s a starting place, something to explore. It might feel as though everyone wants a piece of me, but I’m the only one who can change that.
Minimalism and Uncensored Self: Day 1