Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One Thing Is Enough

If you've met me, you know how much I LOVE efficiency. I have lists and processes, containers and labels, and more google calendars than there are colors for. I went to a top tier liberal arts school that teaches one class at a time because it was the only way to triple major and still play in the orchestra, dance, stage manage, and work four jobs.

In high school, I didn't have a lunch hour because I took advantage of all classes. For the entirety of my adult life, I've had more than one job, and I think if you saw my exhaustive resume, you'd understand why I was perpetually exhausted for 12 years. Every day I knelt before the altar of One More Thing.

We've discussed a few of my secrets of efficiency, but I'll recap some favorites in case you'd like to add them to your collection:
- In the interest of healthy eating, I've resorted to pureeing everything into one unholy smoothie of gawd-awfulness. You can add spinach to a fruit smoothie, but if you also dose it up with protein powder, flax seeds, chia, seaweed, molasses, hemp, spirulina, probiotics, raw cacao and maca it starts to taste nearly exactly like shit.

- Reading with one-eye covered to preserve the vision for extended reading later. Like a pirate. You read for an hour with one eye covered, then take a break to do sixteen household chores (or pee) and then switch (it turns out this is not why one has two eyes).

- Planning a yoga class while taking a yoga class (this might seem rational but it is completely counterproductive).

My body retaliated against all of this supposed "efficiency" two years ago when I simultaneously had a sinus infection, ulcers, a mysterious bacterial infection that may have been Scarlett Fever, C. diff and chronic and debilitating exhaustion.


This was my body teaching me a very important lesson: two can play at this game.

It was not easy to stem my addiction to overdrive. Sometimes I still notice myself layering in more than might be considered humanly possible. During those times, it helps me to think about my mother's favorite saying regarding toddlers:

"Only give the baby as much juice as you'd like to clean off of the floor."

What you ask your body to juggle, your body will ask you to juggle. And you'd better be ready for all of it to fall on your head.

Turns out that (as of this writing) we only receive one body with which to navigate this one most precious life.

These bodies are not built to withstand constant multitasking. Our eyes point in the same direction. Our hearts have one function.

If you are compelled to do more than your body can manage, you will pay for it later. As tempting as it is to push to the breaking point, I urge you to push instead towards the point of comfort. Then add one new thing. If it becomes stressful, then stop. Remove one thing. Find the sweet spot of just enough challenge that life is interesting, but not so much that you're eating a sandwich in the shower or peanut butter straight from the jar.

If you need to practice, go to a yoga class. That's what it's for.

Atha yoga anushasanam. PYS I.1 

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