I’m feeling lately like I’m not doing “enough” with my time, as though I’m caught in a rut emotionally and mentally in my off hours. Work is great. I love the new job – the day-to-day tasks and the bigger project directions. But time at home less… fulfilling? Satisfying? Nourishing?
Maybe I’m unsure of the right word because I’m not totally sure what I’m looking for. Maybe I don’t know what I’m looking for because this is the first time, in a very long time, that I’ve had a significant amount of time, at home, consistently, that’s really all to me. This is the first time I’ve had an eight-hour/day job. I get in early, so I get home early. And this is the first time (aside from a few months last year) that I’ve lived alone. Ever.
The past 18-months have been eventful, to put it mildly. Separation and divorce. Two moves. A new romance. A new job. A new career direction. And that’s not even all of it. There have been nights and weekends, typically when I’m alone, that the stresses have weighed on me, broken my composure, bringing pieces of my past life to the fore. Often I find it frustrating, sometimes infuriating. “It’s been x year(s). When will I be done with this thing? I just want to move forward.”
Tonight, an idea struck. In fitness, I know that comparing today’s fitness level to yesterday’s is meaningless. Today I may feel better emotionally, psychologically, even physically if I exercised yesterday. But to see an objective change in performance, I know that I have to take a longer view – how do I compare to where I was last week? Last month? Last year?
Such are many aspects of life – especially recovery from or adjustment to those foundational shifts. Progress can’t really be measured day by day. It’s in the long view that I can see the difference. I’ve been pressuring myself to be in “top form” emotionally every day and to make tremendous leaps in “fitness” just… because. But, like when I exercise, there will be bursts of improvement, slow gains, and plateuas – and of course, declines can happen too. These can be tweaked by my approaches. But before I get too frustrated about a lack of progress, I need to take a step back and see just how far I’ve come.
If look back at where I was a year ago, I’ve come a very long way indeed.