Following earlier posts about me finding myself over committed (again), and flustered (again), a few things have risen to the surface. Some really lovely people have sent useful links, thoughts, comments, and resources through. I really, really appreciate your help in finding my way.I'm really enjoying the process of posting here, talking out loud. But if my catharsis is bothering you, my apologies and please feel free to move on.
I've noted below a few concepts/themes that are really resonating for me, as I recalibrate and set my intentions for the remainder of the year, and ongoing. I hope they are also useful for those of you who have told me you're going through similar things, or those of you who are quietly struggling alone.
What overload looks like
I came across a list of things that occur when you're overloading via my old gym, of all places. Though I think these are intended to be applied to your exercise regime, they are definitely applicable here.
- You’ve stopped enjoying things you normally love
- You feel tired most of the time
- You feel overwhelmed or out of control
- You find it hard to relax
Idleness is not a dirty word
Bertrand Russell wrote about it in "In praise of idleness". Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. Take time to smell the roses, to do what really matters to you, and to do nothing. The chances of the important things being the same things you're paid to do, unfortunately, are not high. But do them anyway.
I'm going to strive not to be "busy". Busy is not the same as effective. Busy does not make me happy. Busy does not bring out my best work, or the best of me as a person. And it certainly does not allow me to bring out the best in others.
Less is more
Putting all (or most) of your energy into one project makes it much more likely to succeed. According to this incredibly insightful article, "When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success." This is the first step. People with a singular focus are often the ones who achieve those really incredible things we're astounded by.
Things that no longer serve you will disappear
Jan Stewart told me this one a while ago. All too often, I'm reluctant to let go of things, even after I know they're no longer working for me. As Jan says, if you practice mindfulness, you'll notice things you no longer need (even subconsciously) will leave your life.
Fear of mediocrity
I've realised slowly that perhaps the reason I'm working myself into such a state, what I'm really afraid of, is being average. I want to live a remarkable life and to achieve something. I'm beginning to unpack this and I think I'm starting to understand why and what it all means. No doubt there will be more on this.
Geoff Dyer said, "Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it's a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It's only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other." He may be talking about writing, but I feel like this is true for any one working on their own projects. Too many though, and it becomes far too easy to avoid things when they become too challenging. (More tips for writers here.)
Love is all around
Many people around me are facing similar challenges to what I'm sorting through at the moment. More still have been through it and come out the other side. There is an endless amount of wisdom to draw on. And there are so many amazing people willing to share it with me.