I have always been single minded and passionate when it comes to the goals that I set out, the dreams that I wish to accomplish. But I am coming to a slowly dawning realization about myself: I have always been the type to have big dreams, I make bold proclamations about goals that I will accomplish, setting out the self-improvement ladder that I wish to climb, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty follow through I get overwhelmed, I fizzle down until I burn out completely.
There is something to be said for chasing your dreams with a vengeance, for putting 110% into everything that you do. You’ll have time to rest when you are dead- isn’t that what they say? The problem with this little nugget of advice: it’s unsustainable. I’ve tried it, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. You are not built to be on the ground running night and day. Even the ocean knows that it cannot continually charge in it’s assault against the shore- even it knows that there is a time for the tide to go out, to retreat and find safety in it’s own calming waters. Life is full of waxing and waning; there are moments when you will be fully charged and ready to conquer the world, other days the only thing that will heal your soul are yoga pants, a ratty sweatshirt and a mug of steaming hot tea. There is a balance to life that you must embrace.
The difficult piece of this advice: there are far too many things in this world to do and experience, it feels like a waste of your precious time when you are not actively chasing down one of them. The world that we live in is overflowing with adventures to have, new experiences are constantly bubbling over, just waiting for your attention. Is it really any wonder that we struggle to slow down? Can anyone truly blame me for wanting to experience it all?
I have always had high expectations of myself. I want to be the Wonder Woman of my own life. I will openly admit that I selfishly want to be the kind of person that truly lives and makes it all look so damn easy. But the truth is that it’s not easy, and no matter how many times I don a cape- I am still not a super hero. I am simply a girl trying to figure out what path is right for me, or whether I should opt to forge into the overgrowth and create my own.
The crux of my issue was always the same: I needed to learn to follow my own internal rhythms, I needed to scale it down and focus on one thing that a time. I make goals that are too big for my lifestyle, ones that I will never been able to reach out and grab because they are simply to cumbersome for my bumbling fingers. I don’t make room for the question marks in life. Some of the best experiences I have had came without warning, when I took an opportunity that was presented to me without any idea where it would lead. When I try to over-plan my life to fit those illustrious goals, then I don’t make time for the real adventures that the world is literally throwing in my lap. There are so many things in life that you cannot plan or prepare for. There are wrenches out there who have a singular goal in life: to throw themselves into any well thought out plan you may have created. There are inevitabilities and contingencies. In a nutshell, you cannot plan for everything, and nor should you. By ignoring these possibilities, you are setting yourself up for failure and frustration.
I need to stop trying to plan out virtually every minute of my life and give myself an opportunity to actually live it. There is a balancing act that I need to work on. It is time to take one of my own lessons to heart and work on baby steps, to build the foundation that will serve me farther down the road. I need to focus on one piece of the puzzle instead of overwhelming myself with the big picture.
August is almost over, and with it, the goals I have set for myself have turned a bit sideways. So it’s time to take a deep breath and slow it down. I knew that this would be a busy month, so I think I will forgive my lack of focus- at least this time. For the next eleven days, I am going to start setting myself up for a successful September.
My goals for the last part of the month:
- Put up a new blog post every other day
- Plan out some of my topics and research projects for September
- Finally finish the first draft of my July Camp Nano project
- Walk the dog daily (otherwise he turns into a bored psychopath- think of a three-year old on a sugar high and you’ll have a rough idea of the madness that ensues. I’m just thankful he doesn’t have opposable thumbs)
- Stretch twice a day
- Make up my meal and fitness plan for September (because cultivating the body is just as important as cultivating the mind- and its also the one I am constantly neglecting).
There- that doesn’t seem too crazy, now does it? I need to work on the building blocks to get myself back on the right track. I need to work on my balance. With baby steps I will stand a chance. I have a hundred other things on my much bigger to-do list, and this doesn’t meant that I wont attempt to tackle a few of them while I am at it, but right now I am building my base. I need something solid to leap from. I will never make it if I don’t first create a firm footing to rest on. I can breath easy knowing I am building the habits that will help me succeed later.