I had a heck of a weekend. Lots of activity, and not nearly as much rest as I needed. And this morning, I’m really feeling it. I’m fuzzy and slow and not nearly as sharp as I need to be on Monday morning. I’m fumbling and bumbling and it’s taking me a while to get my act together.
But, I had a great weekend doing things I haven’t done properly in what feels like forever, which is huge progress for me. I also figure I’m in roughly the same shape as someone who partied all weekend… but I’m not hungover, I didn’t kill brain cells (I probably added some, actually) and I was doing things that were really, really good for me, so I can cut myself some slack.
Plus, I have my list of things I need to do today, and I’m clear on what I need to accomplish, and how I’m going to do it, so I’ve got structure in place to let me succeed. And I plan to succeed. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t.
The main ingredient of my planned success today?
Not taking on too much to do, focusing on what I need to get done, and doing it to the best of my ability.
My plan for how to make it all happen?
If I get stuck (and there’s a good chance I may), pause to take a deep breath, focus on my breathing for a few minutes, calm my system down, and consult my notes to see where I’m at, and what I still need to do.
I am constantly amazed at how large a factor anxiety and agitation is with me, when it comes to getting things done. I get so charged up, so revved, that I become anxious and scattered, and then I cannot follow through on what I’m doing. But when I pay attention to what’s going on with me, and I center in on what I want to go on around me, it gets me back on track and helps me start anew.
Starting anew is a hugely important activity for me. It takes me out of a frame of mind that is STUCK and gets me back in the swing of things. If I think of getting stuck as pulling into the crew pit during a stock car race, I can accept it better, than if I think about it as a sign that I’m failing. I have a pretty powerful engine, and I run high and hot a lot. So, of course I’m going to need to pull over, now and then, to change my tires and fuel up again. I just can’t stay in the crew pit.
Anyway, the weekend was awesome — very social and very active. I caught up with people I haven’t seen in many months, and I discovered a new locale to hike in. I also got to know someone better who is a friend of a friend and has a lot of shared interests and has been looking for a hiking buddy — just as I have. We both have similar styles in the wild — be smart about your choices, dress properly, don’t take chances, but still be open to exploration and don’t shy away from mud and water and the un-beaten path.
I am physically bushed from all the work I did and all the movement. But it’s a good kind of bushed, and it frees me up to eat well to replenish my energy stores. I messed up and had a bunch of junk food yesterday, but today is a new day, and I know what I need to do, to get myself back on track.
And so I shall. Because this newfound activity of mine — this renewal of my once-active life, the return of my energy, slowly but surely, has been a long time coming. I struggled so terribly with anxiety and agitation for so many years, that I had it in my head that I was consciously choosing to stay away from people and social situations. I was so freaked out by open spaces and unpredictable circumstances, that I designed a life for myself that was indoors, controlled, and quite limited in scope. Of course, I told myself, I was studying and learning and working online, so I didn’t have time to be out and about. But truly, I was excusing myself and my limitations and imagining them to be deliberate choices in favor of something good, rather than handy excuses for not doing something better.
When I look back on so many of my projects of the past years, I see that for the most part, they were designed to alleviate stress and anxiety, and give me a way to channel all my nervous energy into a controlled activity. The goal was not to do something useful and meaningful, but to relieve stress and chill out my tweaked system. Now I see that I can do the same thing, by getting out in the world and hiking up a mountain with a trusted co-traveler. I can do the same thing by working out in the morning. I can do the same thing I once did in sedentary solitude, by doing something social that’s physical as well.
And the great thing about social physical activity is that the more I do it, the more I enjoy it, and the better at it I become. Unlike solitary sedentary life, it builds me up and strengthens my system, and it helps me go even farther, each time. Plus, it helps me sleep like nothing else. I was up twice last night, but I was able to get back to sleep almost immediately, which rarely happens when I’m sedentary.
I’m tired, yes, but I am building up my stamina. One weekend at a time, one experience at a time… It sounds so rudimentary to me, to say it. And I feel like I should already know this. But truthfully, it’s been a long time coming. And I’m just glad it’s here now.