Posted: November 1, 2012 in self, time, work

Some of the best advice I ever got about planning for retirement came from a financial session I went to my last semester of college.  Between going over numerous infographics and excel sheets, the presenter said something that has stuck with me: “You have to pay yourself first.”  For those of you getting antsy about why I’m mentioning this, let me come out and say no I didn’t win big on the Price is Right or  the lotto (yet). I think there is some truth from this saying that spills into other facets of life.

Too often have I invested all of my time and energy into my work and community. First off, these are both obviously worthwhile places to spend my time and money, but after almost 3 months of non-stop nose-to-the-grind can’t-sit-on-weekends type work I found myself completely spent.  I’d wake up mornings completely drained, struggling  to rip myself from bed, even with a fulfilling job waiting for me.

And through most of this I was getting 9-10 hours of sleep each day. I was missing something– an investment on myself. Since I’m not talking about money (let’s not kid ourselves, I don’t have an extravagant stipend), it had to be a time investment.

I started staying up later, giving myself time for what I felt was most missing in my day.  I started reading more, journaling,  praying, and writing poetry.  So far, for better or worse poetry has been winning out of these needs. Some nights I sit down at the dining room table when most of the house is asleep and write/revise poems for a few hours. When I’m in the zone, I feel whole.

The best part is I’m seeing returns on this investment. I feel more focused, more purposeful, more energetic in the rest of my life.



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