So we’re coming up on the last two months of 2019.
Frankly, I have lots to do on my list, and I feel like I’m bowing to the pressure.
For the past few weeks, every morning I wake up, I review the things that I have to do for the day. I start the day motivated and then I lose steam later on. I become disinterested in the tasks and just give up sometimes.
It’s funny because this is how my year has been so far. I feel like I started out strong in April, hit a few bumps on the way, and now I am limping to the finish line.
It’s starting to affect me in negative ways. I am not feeling the joy I used get when I go to work. I am dissatisfied with the projects I am doing. I feel disinterested in the things that I used to be passionate about–like the PhD I’ve dreamed about for years. Or even, the dream towards financial independence.
Sometimes, there is a sense of overwhelm that hits me and shows up unexpectedly in times that usually bring me peace. It is not always there, but it lingers.
In times of stress, I usually like to pull back and take a day off. I’ll just decide not to do anything strenuous and do some light reading–usually novels. After about ten minutes of reading, I am recharged enough to give attention to what needs to get done.
This has not been working out recently. It’s getting harder and harder to recover from setbacks. Because of this, I get disappointed in myself and then fall apart again.
But if we’re speaking honestly, I go through this all the time. I think it’s just hard for me to accept the reality that I am not as productive as I think I am. Maybe I’ve been lying to myself all this time, thinking I can do anything but the day-to-day reality of doing the little things is slowly wearing down the initial enthusiasm I had. Suddenly, the follow through is a lot scarier than it was. I find myself just hoping to get to the end, to get that end product without having to do the hard work.
But in the natural cycle of life on earth, there are seasons and stages. There is a season for warmth and activity and seasons for rest. Animals forage in the spring and summer. Plants bloom and flower in warmer weather. Come fall, trees shed their leaves and animals go through hibernation in the winter months.
I need to learn this lesson.
Because we live in a society where we are constantly seeking success, wealth, happiness, etc. we forget that we cannot sustain the go-go-go pace we’ve set for ourselves. In the past decades, we’ve been taught that we can have it all: family life, work life, and leisure life. But it’s really hard to do everything at once. It all comes down to how we balance and prioritize our time.
I think I forgot that there is a time to rest and a time to be actively forging ahead.
I put too much pressure on myself by creating those to-do lists that have to be done at all costs. If I don’t cross them off my list, then I am a failure. I wasn’t productive enough. I wasted my time while the whole world continues to get better without me. I am left in the dust and regretting that I wasn’t able to accomplish anything.
In the long term, this swinging back and forth between enthusiasm and despair is not a good thing.
I am working on it–as usual. At least I recognize it in me.
Which means I have to think about what I can do reasonably in the next two months. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I just want to finish 2019 strong.