I’ve been running around today. I’m like that most days.
I think a lot of people don’t realize how much work goes into putting together a daily newspaper. I have so many ideas for stories I want to write, and there are so many different things that I’d love to cover, but it’s just impossible sometimes.
There are some things we don’t get to do — I get flak from people all the time — and some things aren’t done in the time that I’d like for them to get done.
But that’s the nature of the beast. That’s what I expected when I got into community newspapers.
I love what I do. I enjoy writing and putting together a publication that I can be proud of, and I enjoy putting out something that you guys around the community want to read.
But there aren’t enough hours in the day. I have a calendar full of things I need to do, an email inbox that’s loaded down, text messages from days ago that I still haven’t responded to — also I got to find time to workout, maybe even date, eat vegetables and drink eight glasses of water.
I’m 28 years old, and I’m not going to act like I’m ungrateful and don’t have free time. I’m not married and I don’t have kids. So, I have disposable income and I don’t have anyone else to worry about — thankfully, because I struggle sometimes to manage my own and three other writers’ schedules.
I say all of that to get to this point. As a society, I feel like we put so much emphasis on being overworked. We put that stress on ourselves. It’s something we all do, in all professions and all walks of life. We make jokes about our busy schedules, and you’re revered if you’re a hard worker, are always on the phone and clock in an 80-hour work week.
We laugh at how we have to drink a gallon of coffee just to get up and going in the morning. I’ve only had four cups today. So, I’m doing alright.
I feel like we all kind of get caught up in our schedules sometimes. Over the next three days, I have a bunch of meetings scheduled, seven articles to write and I have a wedding that I have to be in this Saturday. Also, I have zero groceries, and I rented a tux for $165. So, I’m probably going to eat peanut butter sandwiches until Friday.
I heard this discussion on a podcast I frequent the other day — it was one of those days that I made it to the gym — about how the time we spend working is important, but we need to focus on the time we spend not working just as much.
I want to start doing this because I enjoy my routines. I like having a day where I don’t have to move, where I can go and take my time at the gym, a time I can actually sit and enjoy a cup of coffee.
I’ve been making attempts. I’m trying to put the phone down at the end of the day and actually spend some time reading. I’ve been catching up on those texts and phone calls I missed, and listened to one of the seven other podcasts I downloaded but haven’t had time to listen to yet.
I guess if there’s a point I’m trying make, it’s that I want you all to clear some time on your schedule for your own mental health.
Take some time and forget about all the other things going on in your life. Read a book, listen to music, bake a cake — send that cake to me — sit in a comfy chair and don’t move for a couple of hours. You have my permission.
Managing Editor Bradley Roberts’ column appears Wednesdays. His email address is email@example.com.