Last year, I was trying to say yes to everything: parties, dinners, favours, assignments, dates, travel plans and after parties. (It was a very, very busy year and I am still very, very tired. But it was also very, very fun.) I spent much of the year living out of a suitcase, taking very early morning flights and then getting home late to a bed I forgot to make, meeting countless wonderful new people, and eating, shopping and mingling my way through life. I had a great time and kept propelling myself forward, determined not to miss a thing. But, as with everything, there were both thrills and consequences. My schedule of juggling friends, family and work became overwhelming, my savings were taking a huge ding, the circles under my eyes had grown noticeably bigger, and I suffered my first-ever insomnia, lying awake at night or in the early morning, my mind racing with all of the things I had to do. I would stare at the unread books on my bedside table or the unread emails in my inbox and feel an unfamiliar sense of doom.
Now I just want to retreat a little: slow things down, be in bed before 2am, read more books and get more work done. It might sound boring, I know, but I’ve decided it’s what I need. Instead of having permanent disorientation and jet lag, of getting used to a place just when it’s time to leave, I’d rather spend a little more time really getting to know new places a little more intimately. I’d like to spend more time with the people I love without feeling like I’m squeezing everyone in. And I’d like to say no to things; to spend nights on the couch, wearing thick socks and drinking warm tea while reading a book, without feeling guilty or having the sense that I’m missing something.
I’m in Miami at the moment, so it remains to be seen whether I’ll actually be able to stick to my plan. But I brought a great book and I’m planning on spending the next few days on the beach (unusually cold or not), sleeping in, eating ceviche, finding out whether Florida knows how to mix a good Manhattan, ignoring my voicemail, and catching up with one of my oldest friends. And right now, that sounds like just the recipe for happiness.