Some nights dinner consists of boxed mac and cheese, frozen vegetables, and whatever leftover meat is in the fridge. But sometimes those same nights are the ones when you finally submit your last graduate school application, go to yoga with a friend you haven’t seen in months, submit your FAFSA, and make exciting travel plans. I also put stamps on all of my thank you cards to family members that I will mail out tomorrow (I am notoriously bad at sending punctual thank yous!). So maybe my dinner didn’t knock my night out of the park, but I can definitely say that I spent my time doing things that nourish the soul.
One thing I often gripe about with being an “adult” is that it takes so much just to maintain. There are so many luxuries that I want to afford myself but when you add them all up, how do you find time to do anything extra? I want to learn to be a better, more inventive and healthier cook. I want to eat a solid breakfast, a warm lunch, and a delicious dinner. I spent so much of college feeding myself mediocre meals that, as an adult, I resolved to enjoy what I put into my body. But that’s just one part of the equation. I also want to exercise regularly — ideally 3 or 4 times a week. Not purely for the sake of exercise but because I enjoy activity and I love improving my coordination, balance, and energy. And I want to get that sweet, beautiful, and refreshing sleep every night. But I also want to spend meaningful time with friends exploring the city or catching up over a warm cup of tea. And sometimes I want to get a little drunk and talk loudly about love and friendship.
Beyond those things, I want to create art. I want to live in a beautiful space that I care for. I want to plant a garden. I want to learn to sew and knit. And I want to be fashionable, to show my confidence and maturity through my outward appearance. And I want to call my family more often. I want to travel and see new places and experience new things. How does one find time in their day-to-day for all of the above? How does one find time for even half of the above?
One thing I’m learning as an “adult” is that life isn’t about having all of those things at the same exact moment, but making moments for all of those things. It’s a little bit here, a little bit there, and a lot of not sweating if you don’t get to it all today. It’s about having some semblance of a schedule but making that schedule flexible enough so that you can switch one thing out for another on various nights, weekends, or weeks. It’s about keeping the things you love in constant rotation and if you’re going to compromise and let one slip it is ideally in order to elevate another. It’s also about being gentle towards yourself, the way you would show tenderness towards a good friend, because you cannot be perfect.
At the end of the day it’s such a beautiful exercise to sit down and think of at least one thing you did to nourish your soul and nurture the things that you love. It could be as small as sending a text to check in with a friend or as big as finally tackling that painting project that has been in the back of your mind for months.
So what kind of person do you want to be and what is something you did today to be that person?