Dear Pope Francis,
I am really good at making excuses. It’s not a fact that I’m proud of, but it’s a fact none the less. There are times when legitimate things come up, like getting sick or unexpectedly helping another person, but more often than not, these things do not happen.
What makes this fact even more difficult to swallow is that often the excuse is used to mask the facts. I haven’t written a single letter since the beginning of November. I’ve told myself it’s because I’m busy, or that I need more time to think of a really good idea. Yes, I had a lot of things happening in November, including one week with three papers to pass in, but I still managed to find time to have long conversations with people over lunch, go for a walk, and play a lot of solitaire (and somehow no idea that was ‘good enough’ popped up).
My inner voice tells me that I need to stop being so hard on myself, I’m a busy person, and need to cut myself some slack. It says that those things I think are excuses are actually saving my sanity; I’m an extrovert, I need people time, but I also need down time by myself. I chalk it all up to self-care. However, there’s a difference between self-care and slacking off, the same as there is a setting an overly ambitious to do list, and accomplishing most of them, and setting a small list and making excuses for why none (or very little) of it was accomplished.
All of this masks the fact that I was procrastinating, which ultimately made me more stressed out when I had to sit down and write the papers. Excuses also mask the fact that I feel lethargic and lazy, that I’ve lost some of (– okay a lot of) my motivation. It hides the fact that I feel like I’m in a holding pattern.
Hiding these truths lets me continue to avoid them, pretending that they aren’t there, and that I’m actually doing fantastic. Except that, when I shine the light into these corners of my life, I find desolation. This isn’t who I am. Yes, I have limits, but I like to push my limits. I like to explore and try new things, like writing a blog, going new places or learning new things. But making excuses keeps me well within my limits, safe and secure behind my wall of solitaire and coffee cups, not really accomplishing anything.
And today that changes. It has already changed because I got this letter up. It will keep changing as I keep finding ways to balance my life between being busy and intentionally being quiet, between being active, and intentionally slowing down to recharge.
Writing my to do list,