good & bad
good things that are happening:
- I’m less tired
- I will be sitting in/participating in a youth seminar for three days next week with the possibility of working as a mentor on future seminars, which means a potential source of sporadic employment
- temperatures have risen and it feels like spring outside
- I got tired of walking the same old rounds with the dog, so we took the car and drove somewhere new and it was great – interesting new smells for him and beautiful views for me
- my brother passed his exams and is now (finally!) an architect (on paper, at least)
- I have about ten brilliant ideas of what I want to do with my life every day
bad things that are happening:
… none really, but maybe I should re-phrase…
things I’m not happy about but don’t want to call bad because that would seem like base ingratitude and major whining:
- none of the ideas I have – all of which are fine ideas, practicable, fun, something I’d be good at, something I feel good about – get past the first initial research and I don’t know why not – I loose faith, energy, focus, courage and then the idea just crumples up and goes to die on the graveyard of might-have-beens that is taking up an ever-larger part of my brain
- if I don’t get my act together very soon, I will miss the wedding of one of my best friends, because I won’t be able to afford to fly there and
- I will still be living here when my parents return from their world trip, which is really not something I think I can do
- and I just hate feeling this useless – that although I have years of education, tons of life experience, a good understanding of myself, a supportive family, fabulous friends… I still go to bed every evening and when I ask myself what I’ve done that day, I can’t think of an answer
Sorry. Sorry for being this down. And I’m not even down. I’m furious at myself and disappointed that again, I’ve let a deadline slip past – for a fun project with one of my best friends – without having got the work done in time, even though I really want this project to succeed. WHAT is stopping me? I don’t understand. Any ideas?
Posted on February 2, 2013, in day-to-day and tagged growing up, life, questions. Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.
I can’t speak for you, but I know I went through a similar period in my life. I think part of what drove the inability to follow through on any of my ideas of what to do with my life was fear of being wrong. In economics, they talk about the opportunity cost, what you might have had that you give up to get whatever you’ve chosen to go after. I know I went through a lot of that, thinking obsessively about the cost of any potential choice. Going with any one choice meant giving up all the other options and I was afraid of what I would lose if I chose the wrong opportunity. The thing is though, I realized I would still lose all those things if I didn’t choose anything at all, because time itself would take them. I decided that trying was better than inaction, even with the risk of being wrong.
As I said, I don’t know if it’s your reason, but consider the possibility.
I had to think about this a bit. At first, it didn’t seem right, but I’ve considered the idea and I have to admit that that is most definitely a part of it. I just hadn’t looked at it from that angle before.
How did you manage to make yourself commit to one thing then? Because I know that I can’t just stay at the crossroad and wait, I have to choose one path and go for it, but even though I know it in my head, I don’t seem to really know it in my heart. Severe commitment phobia? I don’t know.
How did I manage it? Well, a number of relatively major upheavals happened in my life at once, making it obvious to me I was neither happy nor getting anywhere. So I asked myself what I wanted most, then forced myself to be honest about what I needed to do to get there. It was scary, partly because writing is such an uncertain thing, with so many elements out of my control (such as whether people will like my writing style enough that I can support myself doing it), but it was better to try than to always wonder.
I also had to look at the roadblocks I was throwing up in my path. Things like insisting the first draft be perfect and trying to force myself to write with a process that clearly wasn’t working because I believed it was the “right” path.
I suppose the biggest thing was knowing I didn’t want to live in regret as I got older and deciding to face forward at all times. There will always be paths you don’t take in life, and you can never know where those other ones might have led you, but if you pick one and just keep moving forward, instead of looking back, you might be surprised how happy you can be.
I don’t know if any of this helps, but keep in mind that the first step is the hardest and scariest, and that the further you go, the easier continuing down one path can get. *hugs*
Gosh, I’m so … I also wanted to say thank you! And that I have the best blogging friends possible. 🙂
You are most welcome. 🙂 I feel very much the same.
I wish I had some ideas on what could be stopping you. Unfortunately I’m struggling with some of the things you mentioned with some slight variations. I wake up with all these plans. By evening, I’m lucky if half of the things on my list are done.
No apology needed for you feeling down. Sometimes the positivity just doesn’t flow. And it’s OK because you’re human.
Maybe you should try to break up what you have to do into smaller sections or if possible change the order of the way you normally do things. See if that helps 🙂
It’s just so frustrating, isn’t it? If it’s a recurring theme with you that you don’t get as much done during the day as you’d like, maybe you’re setting your goals too high? I tend to write these massive to-do lists and then get discouraged when I can’t get through them, but the key is to stay very realistic with those lists so that you can enjoy crossing things of.
Also, changing the order, or shaking things up – that’s a really good tip. It reminds me that I used to be a night worker, but now I hardly work in the evening or night, instead I try to get things done during the morning – but maybe I just don’t work that way? I’ll see if I can change that, just to see what happens.
I didn’t think I was setting high goals. I thought they were small. When I look at them the numbers were few but the tasks were very detailed and time consuming. So I might have to tackle one thing a day 🙂
I hope changing your work schedule helps. I had to do that with certain tasks also. Some of my design work was better during the day others at night. As for writing, the ideas flow during the day but the actual writing is better at night.
Keep ya head up. You’ll get back into a good flow. It helps to have people to bounce ideas off of 😉
Very true! And good friends to encourage one! 🙂
I don’t have anything concrete to note, except that there are times when life just seems contrary, if not darn difficult. Good is interspersed, but this dark cloud hovers, for no known reason. Has this happened before, do you see a pattern, or this is a valley uncharted?
I love that photo, and congrats to your brother!
Most definitely a recurring theme… Usually I get out of the stalling/indecision by external events and/or decisions, like deciding to do another degree (that was last time) or falling seriously ill (definitely not a choice) – but this time, it seems the impetus has to come from only inside me. And while I want that, a part of me is scared stiff. I guess that’s part of why I don’t finish things – fear of being wrong, fear of not being good enough, fear of being disappointed… I know in my head that these things are stupid and it’s much worse to stand still and tread water than to set out and swim, but there is something that keeps me from putting what I know into practice. Maybe I need to go back to meditating.
Thank you for the congratulations, we were all a bit worried about him, but he made it! I’m quite angry at his university though, because the system for marking seems highly arbitrary and unscientific. It all seems to depend on whether you pander to the professor’s personal taste or not. If you do, you get a good mark, if he doesn’t like the look of the building, you don’t.
For a long time I had full-time motherhood to fill my days, and perhaps to excuse what I wanted to do with the writing. But that it was one of my kids to finally pry the fiction loose was telling. One moment that kicked my butt was my brother’s death, but that’s not exactly the sort of thing one relishes to get one going. I was thirty-one, he was nearly twenty-five, and I had to note life’s precariousness. What did I want to accomplish?
My daughter has had a few instructors like that; so frustrating that good marks then are rendered arbitrary. Well, your brother is done, most certainly cause for celebration! 🙂
You are stressed, girlfriend. You ARE tired, and your body needs a bit of rest to recover your exuberance. Even God rested according to the Bible. So allow yourself to be a bit human, and enjoy a break. It’s great that you took your dog somewhere new. Do only what you HAVE to do to keep things going, then do some easy things. Reward yourself. Lots of love to you!!! 🙂 Marsha Lee 🙂
Thank you for that pep talk Marsha! I have the kindest blogging friends! 🙂
It seems that I’ve done nothing but rest for the last year, and while I don’t regret that and I have learned things about myself during this time, I feel it’s now time to become more active again and … you know… have a life again.
But maybe you’re right about the stress… A sort of background, white-noise stress. I shall try to put more fun and levity into things, maybe that’ll help. 🙂
How have you rested? Are you under financial pressure? If so, then that is a different kind of rest that you need – a focused working kind of rest!!! Are you lonely? That’s another source of stress? Strained relationships? Spiritual questions? Focus your work on solving those problems. Levity is great, and will come as a natural outburst of solving your problems. Joy and levity are everywhere even while you are stressed, but the source of stress – that’s what you have to nail in the jugular. Lots of love, and a big hug to you!!! 🙂 Marsha Lee 🙂
I wish I could pinpoint it for you and for me. I think I’d be rich if I could. I’ve been told to set a deadline and stick to it, no matter what. Maybe that will help. Tell everyone your deadline so you have accountability. Good luck
Deadlines don’t seem to work for me, even if I tell people to hold me accountable, I just don’t seem to mind. Not good. Yeah, you could be rich – I’d definitely pay you if you had an easy answer. 😉
I wish I did have the easy answer–trust me
Well on the bright side at least there aren’t any bad things!
I don’t know what to tell you though. I went through more or less the same thing and the most sensible thing I heard was that I’d burned myself out. I’d taken over more than what I was capable of and got sorta “damaged” in the process. My advice would be to take a break from things you know have a potential to bring you down and do things you enjoy. Nothing that involves work. Just pure fun and relaxation… reading, watching movies, swimming… something that doesn’t involve any goals or expectations. Maybe after you’ve relaxed enough you’ll be able to take on your projects with renewed strength. 🙂
I feel like I’m rambling, but… these are just my two cents!
Oh, hug! they say that a person needs at least 10 or 20 hugs a day and that will make him/her feel better.
Wow, that many? Does cuddling with your dog count as a hug?