Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 8

I don’t want summer to end. The slower pace, the lessened responsibilities, the lack of structure. That all sounds just so very good as I write these words. Yes, it sounds good to me, in theory. If I get quiet with myself and I’m really honest, I know these kinds of days don’t equate to the feelings in myself for which I long. The truth is, I’m restless. I’m antsy. I’m a little down.

Knowing myself — really knowing and accepting myself — is a work in progress. I heard Gretchen Rubin give a great talk last year on this very subject, and I’m only now hearing all of its reverberations. Over time, and particularly of late, I’m becoming more and more clear that my personality is wired for structure. Spontaneity, free-flowing time, and days without set plans all seem enticing to me. It sounds great. But it isn’t great for me. Those type of days make me feel more restless, more antsy, more depressed. I realize I have been holding on to some notion that those kind of days are supposed to be awesome and fun and freeing. After all, I can sleep in if I want. I can stay home in my pjs all day, be with Parker, and work on my manuscripts. I don’t have scheduled meetings, so the day can just flow. Sounds good, right? As much as I don’t want to let the idea go that I could be “unstructured, free-flowing Meghan,” I have to accept the truth that these kind of days are not good for me. I have to know and honor my true Self enough to accept who I am.

PX680_CP_Empty-Bed_rsThis acceptance fills me with some excitement. Getting closer to my truth is GOOD! I’m already thinking through my plans to kick this restlessness to the curb. Although it still only the first week of August, my summer is just about over. I leave this week for the American Psychological Association conference and and when I return, preparations for the semester will be in full swing as classes begin a few short days later. Thus, with the new semester on the horizon, I’m thinking through the structure I want to build for myself. I’m making plans for how and when I want to spend my time — writing my book, working on research manuscripts, teaching class, meeting with students, yoga, lunches/walks/happy hour with friends, dates with Tony. These are all the parts of my life I want to really sink into, and for me to really sink in, I need to prioritize and schedule it all. As well, I need to wake up, get dressed, and leave the house. As a true (and extreme) extrovert, I need to be with other people, even if it’s working and writing at the coffee shop. Staying at home in my pjs all day, alone, is a recipe for disaster. That’s knowing myself, being secure in who I am, and living my truth.

Sayonara, restlessness.

8 Responses

  1. Melissa says:

    Oh, how I relate to this feeling. A day without plans is the least relaxing thing in the world to me. Though, weirdly, as long as relaxation is built within the structure of the wider day, I love it. Here’s to knowing yourself and honoring your own truth… and to structure.

    • Meghan says:

      I know you’re with me on this one, M. And it’s not that I don’t want down time and time to relax/chill, it just needs some structure around it — movies, a walk, a bike ride, etc. Here’s to getting clarity. xo

  2. Tiffany says:

    So well stated M. I’m sorry I will miss you this, week.

  3. Sandra says:

    Wonderful post. I’ve realized recently (and accepted) that I’m more introverted than I used to be. Like you, it doesn’t do me any good to be at home too much on my own BUT I also can’t do a lot of “going out” to big parties, etc. anymore. I just don’t like it.

    Have a wonderful time at APA! I used to be a family therapist and part of me still misses that work. You can take the girl out of psychology but you can’t take the curiosity about people and relationships and family out of the girl!

    My ideal workplace would be family therapy in an agency in the heydays of the 1970’s and 1980’s before all the funding cuts to public agencies. Too bad there isn’t any time travel available!

    • Meghan says:

      Glad you are coming in to who you are, too, Sandra. And I had NO idea you were a former therapist! Therapists unite!!

  4. Anna Gay says:

    Oh how I relate to you, Meghan! I am going nuts, just waiting on school to start, mainly because I just want my structure back! I’ve been feeling down after too much home alone time this summer.

    • Meghan says:

      Glad I’m not alone, Anna, but sorry to hear you have been succumbing to the lack of structure and the alone time. More proof that you and I really need to connect IRL! xo

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