I have been working and working in my brain to discover and alter the source of my frustration when it comes to the (same ol’) process of working the 9-5. I KNOW I TALK ABOUT THIS TOO MUCH, but I really do hope that insight will come from expressing myself, and heck, maybe one of my readers can make some quality suggestions that I can follow and possibly use to change my life (HINT-FUCKING-HINT).
But, I digress.
Some form of realization came from my best friend, who was discussing her new running interest. A few years ago, this lady wasn’t comfortable running 2 miles and now she’s busting out 13 mile runs, FOR FUN. So, I mentioned that she should sign up for a half marathon, so she could run with others (I even mentioned feeling good about being faster than a lot of people, as well as, trying to pace yourself with the more experienced runners), collect her finisher medal, and have some concrete sense of accomplishment forced down her throat for her achievement. YAY, WINNER!
And she straight up told me she didn’t want to run a race. She liked running for herself, whenever she wanted.
Suddenly, I was puzzled.
My thoughts immediately traveled to the place where every action I take follows a path towards a definitive sense of “completion” (which hopefully comes with accolades). And that sense of SUCCESS makes the challenge feel so much more satisfying. Like, if you don’t get that end-of-project pat on the back, why do the activity?
I play in chamber and orchestras to work through a season, and finish the process with a final concert or series of concerts where I can stand for my bow, accept compliments on the performance, and have a celebratory drink. Then I start a new season. And the cycle goes again and again with starting something new that is hard and has to be worked out, and then finding myself at the finish line with a smile on my face, and a new “notch” on my life post. Same with getting degrees, finishing school, wanting to go back to school; all of that seems to relate with the process of getting the degree, culminating in the graduation ceremony where you get your award (or diploma in this case) and then you’re done. YAY YOU!
But, somewhere in the world, people are celebrating activities for the sake of the activity. They don’t care about the “finish”, it’s the act that they like.
This is so foreign to me. But it also sort of makes sense. It is about being happy in the present. Not waiting for that happiness in the future when the “thing” is done and you can get your kudos then. We’re talking about finding success and accolades in the daily, in the moment, at the time. It’s simple, so then it should be easy, no?
BUT IT’S NOT!
I can’t even say how tired I get when I’m trying to find that good in the every minute. I actually stress out over finding joy in the simple. “Where is it? If I don’t see it, does that mean that I’m not happy or in touch with happiness? Why does everyone else seem so ok? What more can I do to feel successful? Where is my promotion? Should I get a new job? A new house? A new dog? Why does that person seem so happy? What are they doing that I should be doing? ARGGGHHHHH!”
Yah, that actually happens in my head. Sad, so sad.
However, how much better would the multitude of people be, myself included, if they could just NOT stress over how to get to the end of something, and just enjoy being in the thick of it? This concept could be world changing. It could be LIVES changing. And I want in.
But how to start? Meditation to bring my awareness to the present? Creating a series of life goals that are just for me with no rhyme or reason?
I see working slowly and efficiently in all areas as a good first step. Reducing stress means I can enjoy what I’m doing much, much more.
Finding larger goals rather than listing specific goals. I want to be healthy, rather than, I want to complete a triathlon. Even if the triathlon is in the work part of being healthy, that’s not the “end goal”. The success is in being fit, even at 50!!!
Read things like THE REAL DIG.
Take time for yourself.
Smell the roses.
Take a quick walk when overwhelmed.
Go for a run. Listen to quality music.
Leave time to not rush.
Play with animals.
Don’t play with people you don’t like.
Eat for health and enjoyment.
Drink. Water. (And. Booze, if applicable).
Remember to laugh…at everything. Especially yourself.
See…maybe I do know how to do this self satisfaction thing.
I’m going to take my own advice and go for a walk!