Mother’s Day 2013: the day when people post a Tweet/Facebook status or upload a picture showing how grateful they are to have the strongest woman in the world, and how they are lucky to be daughter/son of such a strong woman.
I really hope that people appreciate their mothers/motherly figures for more than one day. One day is not enough. And I hope it’s not just through a text or a status. If technology permits, how about a real conversation on the phone/ skype / webcam?
I have to admit that life right now is quite a routine. Wake up at 7am, Eat breakfast. Go to class. Lunch while in class. Gym. Go back home. Cook & eat dinner. Study, Sleep, then repeat. My iPhone calendar would bleep all day reminding me that Event X will be in 2 hours, Event YZ will be in 30 minutes, etc. etc. E-mails of other school events flood my phone on the daily. To put the cherry on top, I work at a pharmacy 16 hours every other week. And to put another cherry on that, I am currently completing 80 intern hours for my IPPEs. To simply put it, my schedule is just jam packed.
That sounds fucking whiny but as I typed this post, it’s more like giving me a shitslap of reality check. The reality that I’m truly going through hectic times. I’m not complaining. I’m grateful of what’s on my plate. I mean..I chose to apply to this program for a reason. It’s not easy. I like a challenge. But I wrote this because something else personal is bugging me.
I remember a year ago, my schedule during was quite the opposite. I looked at some old pictures and during this day, I was sun bathing with my roommate down at La Jolla shores, eating some scrumptious strawberries. And then that night, we decided to go have a late night drive thru to get some Carne Asada fries and burritos at this Mexican drive-thru restaurant that’s open 24 hours. My year off was a lot more laid back.
Something I learned from this experience so far: I despise a highly structured schedule. It’s a weird feeling because I consider myself organized, yet I do not like the idea of a highly structured / organized schedule. I miss the ambiguity. I miss the chaos. I miss the spontaneity. Although I’ve been to some fun events (Rihanna, SHM, Color Run, etc.), it feels like I’m still in a drought for some random adventure. It feels different when your “fun” time is scheduled as well. It’s not as exciting.
Some of my friends say that I am pretty “balanced.” The truth is we really can’t be balanced all the time. That’s the fact of life. I mean if you think about a real balance, it’s really hard to calibrate it in the first place. It has to move around just a bit until it’s calibrated. The same goes for life. For some of us who are constantly experiencing new things, our “life balance” is constantly being calibrated. We might add a little bit of weight. We might lose some. The fact of matter is…the balance is never static. The balance is always fluctuating. The fluctuation (aka struggle) is what might trigger all of our life complaints, etc. but at the end of it, the same fluctuation is what keeps us sane and alive.
“Do you ever study? When do you find time to go to concerts, go to community events? How do you find time to run this much?”
These are some of the common questions that I encounter on the daily when I have conversations with some of my friends and colleagues. And my answer to these questions are the same, “Yes, I make time for it. I make time to have fun. I always make time to take care of myself.”
The issue of time management is actually more common than I thought. It is a skill that any person can attain but the pathway to achieving it is rather unique from person to person. I can only speak from personal experience. I can tell you that am not perfect at this skill. I stumbled. I constantly made mistakes. But there are some tricks up my sleeve that I learned over time as a result of making these mistakes. Here are some of them.
(1) Stressing about a problem only wastes your time. It does not help solve the problem. The constant dwelling adds up over time. I know it sounds pretty common sense but this is probably where a lot of time gets wasted on. Instead of stressing out about it, tackle it bit by bit by setting smaller and more realistic goals. Don’t hurt yourself by trying to eat all the cake on your plate. Over stressing negatively affects your health.
(2) And speaking of health, NEVER compromise your health over your priorities. Why? There are multiple reasons. I can divide it into two categories: practical and biological. On the practical side, the stress from all your priorities accumulates and creates anxiety . Actually, you will soon realize that both categories are strongly intertwined. Practicality intersects with biology. Anxiety is a mental distraction. It is an impediment to productivity. You are not at your optimum when you are mentally distracted. The best way to deal with this is to know exactly the source of anxiety and take care of it immediately when moving to another task. For example, one thing that makes me anxious is seeing my room dirty. If I leave it dirty, my mind is not at peace even when I am not in the house. So, the solution: clean it before you start your tasks. You might think it would be “a waste of time” to clean the room but you will be wasting more time thinking about how disorganized your surroundings are more than you can imagine. All this thinking will subtract from your productivity. On the biological side, stress increases your chances of illness: heart disease, mental problems (depression), hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). It also increases muscle deterioration (which sucks for those of you trying to be buff), fat deposition (makes you fat), and cellular oxidation (creates more free radicals that can cause inflammation, and can lead to cancer!!). I don’t want to go to “sciency” on you but the memo is: chronic stress is bad for your health.
(3) Don’t like the practical and biological side? How about the humanistic side? When you are over stressing, you are not taking care of yourself. You will not be happy while living in an unhealthy lifestyle. The solution to stress: taking care of yourself should be your #1 priority. It will get rid of any unnecessary stress. Eat right. Sleep right. Exercise. Go out with your friends. Have an adventure. Your happiness will cure your stress.
(3) If you are truly passionate about something, you will go out of your way to make time for it! When people say, I don’t have time for this blah blah blah, they are making a conscious decision that blah blah is not important to them. It is important that you determine your passions and that you follow them. Following your passion is key to happiness. With happiness, comes less stress. With less stress comes better health. You will do better at your tasks.
As you can see, all these tricks can be summarized into a common theme: Self-care and passion enhances your time management. Taking care of your physical and mental being sharpens your mind and it will allow you the perform your tasks at your optimum. Following your passion will motivate you to work in accomplishing your goals and will make you more productive in the long run.
Make time for the things you enjoy. It is not a waste of time. It is productive, practical, healthy, and humane in the long term.
When people don’t care about politics b/c “politics doesn’t affect their lives”