*Told you it would be soon!*
I don’t really know how to define productivity anymore. In my office, and in many others in Botswana, it’s not about how much work you do, but how long you’re there. I haven’t witnessed a lot of drive or motivation to get things done, which has been challenging for me because I am someone who, in the past, has always felt this need to stay busy. If I was constantly busy, I didn’t have to think about all my insecurities, fears, and other depressing thoughts. I could ignore and run away from my problems. Being here, I’ve found the value of taking things slower. I’m not great at it, but it is nice to not be filled with anxiety over a million deadlines like I used to be. Sometimes that means that I don’t do the things that need to be done finished in a timely manner, because I don’t have that deadline motivating me, but I still get them done. I almost enjoy expecting things to start two hours late because that gives me two hours to sit and read.
In the past few months, I’ve been worried that I won’t be able to work on American time anymore. I was worried that I would struggle at a job and have issues focusing. But in the past couple weeks, I’ve had to actually get things done since I’m leaving and I’ve noticed how fast I can get back into a state of productivity and motivation. It’s only 3 o’clock and I’ve done three loads of laundry by hand, a load of dishes, cooked two meals, packed all of my belongings to take home besides the aforementioned laundry, deep cleaned one room, moved unused furniture into said room, taken out two loads of garbage, applied to three jobs, found four more to apply to, watched two episodes of Buffy, written one and half blog posts, worked on e-mails, packed a couple boxes to go to people here, and sorted my finances. A typical Monday for me in the past couple months would be to wake up around 8 or 9, watch some TV, maybe journal, do some reading, then go to Teen Talk, come home, make some calls, and then go to bed. Not quite the same kind of productivity. So I have hope that I won’t be a completely useless human when I’m home.
I’m still almost always early to things, and I still get things done when they need to be, but I’m no longer the ball of anxiety about everything. I recognize more of what I can and should have control over and I recognize that I don’t need to be busy all the time to prove something. I’m enough at any level of productivity. I enjoy having more time for myself and listening to my mind and body instead of trying to shut it off. And Botswana has given me the time I needed to learn more about myself and become a more confident and happy person. I don’t want to keep living by Botswana time, but I also don’t really want to go back to my insane American time. I’d like a happy medium where I have pockets of business, and stretches of leisure. That sounds beautiful right now.