I am bored with myself. This morning I feel like I have nothing to say. I feel like turning my brain off and thinking about nothing. I don’t want to be challenged, I don’t want to plan, I don’t want to write this. Is it time to stop writing my blog? Is it time to spend my Saturday mornings doing something different? Even though I am not sure what that would be. I feel myself slipping into wanting just to be ‘comfortable’. I do have a comfortable life. I have a nice home, a good marriage, my daughter is doing great in college and will graduate in a year. I have a good job, and really good friends at work. I have good friends outside of work that love and care about me. I love the friends I have met on Instagram. I am healthy and my family is healthy. I feel very fortunate for all the beauty and love in my life. I could work my 40 hours a week, and hang out on the weekends. I could give up my blog and instead sleep in, go out to breakfast and watch a movie. This is an option for me, it is my choice to write this blog or not write it.
But I closely relate to the saying of being like a dog, ‘ If I don’t have a purpose, I will dig up the whole back yard.’ I know this about myself, or I guess I should say I have learned this about myself. If left to my own devices I will start to turn on myself and the people around me. My brain will start to criticize my past failures, my present missteps, and predict a bleak future. My brain will obsess on details and I will become negative. This is the place that my brain is constantly pulling me towards, and I have to take conscious steps not to go there. I used to tell myself that ‘THIS time I won’t go there’. I am just going to relax, not challenge myself and think of nothing. But 100% of the time I go there. I know this from being me.
So, when I start to feel that pull, I have learned to not give in to it. But sometimes my brain and body follow very slowly and unwillingly. It is like I am walking in thick mud, and it is raining hard, and I have my head down but I can hear a voice in the distance saying, ‘Come on, you can do it, a little farther and there is dry land and sunshine.’ So, I just keep moving forward towards that voice. I am 53 years old, and believe me I have tried ALL the other alternatives to following that voice. None of them worked. The only thing that works is just putting one foot in front of the other.
In moving forward instead of giving in, I am keeping the commitments that I have made to myself. Like writing this blog. I didn’t feel like writing it this morning, but I am keeping my commitment to write it. And as I sit here writing it, I feel my body and spirit feeling lighter, and I am starting to feel happier. With each word I type, and each thought I get out, I feel better. And I know when I am done writing, I will feel really good that I completed this. I will read it back, and I will learn something new about myself. What I am writing will inspire me to draw a picture about it. The picture will make me happy when I look at it. This will inspire me to write and draw some more. This is how it works for me, and because I know this, I sit down and write.
But it is not like it ever becomes easy. I have been writing this blog once a week for 15 months now, but some days I still feel the exact same way I did when I first started. Some days it is hard. Some days I am irritable right before I write. Some days I feel empty and like I have nothing to say. Some days I feel like people are just being nice when they say they like my writing. Some days I just want to be ‘comfortable’ in my self imposed isolation and go deep into my negative thoughts about how no one really cares about me. Some days it feels good to do this. It is like eating birthday cake with thick cream frosting, and whip cream and ice cream. I know it is going to end badly with an upset stomach and me regretting it, but it feels so good at the time. It is like a release. Beating myself up afterwards somehow feels good too. It is a whole pity party cycle of self involvement. I can relax there. I don’t have to be challenged because no one cares what I do, so it doesn’t matter if I do anything. I can let go of responsibility and blame everyone else but me. If they cared more, I would do more.
Believe me, I have lived there! And still today, when challenges come up it is my reflex to go to that place. But I know better now. I know that it never ends well. So, I write my blog every Saturday morning and by the time I am done, my negative mood before I started writing is gone. I am over it!
Regardless of my feelings, I show up for work at my finance job every morning, I show up for my daughter and my husband, I show up for my friends. Regardless of my feelings I show up and take care of my responsibilities; I pay the mortgage, taxes, my bills. I am dependable, the people in my life know this about me and it makes them feel good.
Now I do the same for me. I keep my commitments to myself so that I can feel good too. Now regardless of my feelings, I show up for me