All About "Appreciate" Appreciate Articles It's the Little Things

I’m Tired of Being Tired

Taking time to breathe in Alaska
Alison O'Brien
Written by Alison O'Brien

By the time I added “trying to keep up with an active dog, active nieces and nephews, and be present in their lives”, the doctor herself looked tired.

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I bet many of you can relate to being tired. Tired of how hectic our lives are and the feeling of being tired the majority of our days. Yet, we still continue to push. Can you relate?


In December, I had my end of the year check-up and the doctor asked me about my energy level.

“I’m tired”, I said, “and that’s not like me not to have a ton of extra energy.”

The doctor, being new to me and trying to gauge what may the cause of my ‘lethargy’, then asked what I did on a daily and weekly basis.

“Well…” and I began rattling off my tasks – building a brand and business from the ground up; commuting to, and working, a second, full-time career, as a television producer, to finance that building and branding; training myself, and coaching others, to complete marathons for a cancer charity endurance team; writing for an online magazine and my own monthly company newsletter…  And I went on and on.

Tiara'd and Tired on the Treadmill

Tiara’d and Tired on the Treadmill

By the time I hit “trying to keep up with an active dog, active nieces and nephews, and be present in their lives”, the doctor herself looked tired.  She sat down, took off her glasses and gave me a stern, exasperated look.

“Listen”, she said, “the day is only 24 hours long.  In the end, we’ll be judged by the quality, not the quantity, of the time spent.”

This is not the first time I’ve been told this, nor is it one of the first times I’ve listened.  But it IS one of the first times I’ve really understood the importance of what is being said.  To be completely honest, I really like being busy.  I have self-diagnosed “ants in my pants” and I do not sit still well.

Yet, even in my busyness I understand that, quoting Matthew Broderick in the 80’s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

One of my beloved nieces and nephews

One of my beloved nieces and nephews

I see that a lot in my nieces and nephews.  Ranging in age from about-to-turn one-year-old to an unbelievable 17, I see changes in them with each visit.  During my last trip to San Francisco, seven-and-a-half year old Athena read a bedtime story to ME, not than the other way around.  My godchild Emma, who I swear was just able to sit up on her own, now pulls herself up on her own – moments away from taking her first unaided steps.  My nephew Shawn is driving – how can that be possible??  I have no idea where the time has gone; I just know I cannot get it back.

I’ve really been working on the idea of “worry less; enjoy more” – think less about what needs to get done and take the time to enjoy the world surrounding us.  It is not an easy task, because my to-do list has neither shrunk nor shortened, but my priorities have shifted.

Taking time to breathe in Alaska

Taking time to breathe in Alaska

I am trying to shut-off and be present when in the presence of people.  I am cutting myself some slack and allowing for time to just ‘be’ – whether that’s camping out in front of the TV, talking on the phone or taking a non-marathon-training run or walk.  I am listening to those around me and, in turn, becoming more in-tune with my own life.  And I have to say it’s kind of nice.

I could use some help though – what are some tips of how YOU shut-off, are present and enjoy life?  Please share!

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

This may be my answer eternally, but I am constantly working on accepting that there are limits in life – limits in a day’s time and limits to my energy supply. Somewhere in my brain, I still believe I am 19 years old and can pull all-nighters with ease… Then I look in the mirror, see the dark circles under my eyes, and realize that may not be the case.

What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I appreciate my ability to focus and my ‘gitterdun’ nature – both give me the stamina and endurance needed to see tasks through to completion. A few weeks back, what began as a quick scan of my JWalking Designs’ Amazon store, turned into an all-night overhaul. Night turned into morning, yet I did not move until I had exhausted all of my attempts to make things right. By the time their customer support staff came into the office, I knew I fixed all I could on my own and was confident in my questioning as to why things were as they were.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

I am proud that I give things my all, and that I continue to demand the best from myself. Sometimes that translates into being harder on myself than I may need to be, but I am trying to reframe that punishment into pride in a job well-done. Following that same line of thought, I work hard, each and every day, to grow my brand into my primary source of income – allowing me the freedom to life live differently than I currently can.

We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

Asking for help is difficult for me, but I am learning that asking is a show of trust, not one of weakness. To explain: I am the sole employee for JWalking Designs – from CEO and Chief Coffee Buyer to Shipping Specialist and Social Media Strategist, I do it all. But, this is not my only career, and in my Television Producer job, I travel to cover stories across the country. This may sound small, but I had to ask friends if they might be be willing and able to prepare, package and ship any sales that came while I was out of the area. They immediately said yes and asked for a step-by-step process that they could follow because they know I take pride in putting out a consistent product. Their agreeable nature and wish to help immediately put my mind at ease. Hopefully it will not take me as long to ask for a favor next time!

“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)

Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?

Arms! They are strong enough to carry the weight of the world, when needed, and long enough to hug those who help me carry the world when it gets too heavy.

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About the author

Alison O'Brien

Alison O'Brien

How a Pair of Running Shorts Spurred on My Second Career.

As a veteran television producer and novice athlete, I decided to train for my first marathon in the hopes of finding and funding a cure for the cancer my friend was bravely battling. I spent the 26.2 miles finding fault with the ill-fitting, dysfunctional and certainly unflattering running shorts I was wearing. Seven years, thousands of miles, and even more running 'bottoms' bought, I decided that if I couldn't find fitness fashions I liked, I'd make them myself.
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/jwalkingdesigns
TWITTER: www.twitter.com/jwalkingdesigns

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