This post previously appeared on Happy by Design.
I think it’s time to lay some things to rest. Mainly, when you take the time to work on your goals or your dreams, there are things that are going to suck along the way.
Was that too honest? Bear with me.
As you may know, I’m all about pumping up myself and others with a good motivational quote. I’ll continue to do this, but I just need to get a few things off my chest. Here, I’m going to take you down some of the sucky things I’ve experienced when I’ve actually taken the time to work on my goals.
First, there’s resistance.
This comes in the form of distractions, not feeling sure of yourself, writer’s block, walking the last quarter of a mile when you wish you could run, negativity towards your mission, not trusting your gut, etc. Resistance is what keeps you from finishing or keeps you from moving forward on something really important. Most of the rest of this list could be summed up under the header of “resistance” but I think it’s still worth while to call those other ones out.
Resentment towards “others”
I don’t mean resentment towards your friends or family, because if you have resentment towards them, you should work that out. That’s not healthy. No, I’m talking about the resentment you feel towards the real or perceived “others” who are doing the things you are trying to do, but seem to be doing them faster, more efficiently, and with more success. It’s hard to step back and put it all in perspective, but everyone has their own path. Just because you see something bright and shiny on the surface doesn’t mean they haven’t struggled for just as long as you have.
A feeling like you’re doing everything wrong
I used to feel this way with running and then I just accepted that I could go the same distance as others…it just might take me a bit longer. Now, I always feel this way with creative writing. Every single day I lay down some words and I feel like it’s the worst thing I’ve ever written. This post? It might be the worst post I’ve ever written. Hands down. And yet, every day I have to put something down on paper. I have to think about what I’m going to post next on Happy by Design and be okay with hitting the publish button. Yet, it hasn’t gotten any easier.
A weird competitiveness against others that they may not realize (which in turn makes you feel silly)
As much as you resent those “others,” there’s still a sense that you have to compete with them. Oh, you wrote 2,000 words today? I’m going to write 2,500! It’s not a competition. Seriously. It’s not. And then you feel like an even bigger idiot when the resistance kicks in and you only wrote 500 and it was way too much explanation about a piece of cheese (seriously, haven’t we all been there?). I don’t get competitive with running (see the “heart attack” explanation below), but I do get a sense of pride when I’ve had a good couple of weeks with running, strength training and eating like a normal human being (As opposed to a grizzly bear preparing for hibernation).
A slight (or significant) drop in personal appearances
You’re focused. You’re putting in the work. You’re taking the time to chase your dreams. After a couple weeks you notice that you now have stress acne, your hair has seen MUCH better days (seriously, get on that, Jamie!), and the jiggly bits are starting to come back with quite a vengeance (how long has it been since I stepped foot in a gym?). It just happens. And I don’t have the hours in a day to do all the things I want to do all the time.
A feeling like you might have a heart attack
The. Worst. Thing. EVER. I talk about this sensation in my recap of running Ragnar (Lindsay and I were part of a twelve person team running from Madison to Chicago over 24 hours). That was the last time it was in super full force. Now it arrives in the form of little anxiety attacks when I’m under a lot of pressure. None of it is good. Make sure your ticker checks out as this could be a serious health issue for you. Lord knows the amount of cheese I eat is not helping my ticker, but I’m going to roll the dice on cheese in this scenario.
Life doesn’t pause for you. Time is never on your side.
It’s your goal, not theirs. Their life continues. Your job is still waiting for you. So are those bills. Sometimes I get really angry when it seems like those “others” have found an extra eight hours to do stuff that I simply don’t have time to accomplish. The 2,000 words you wrote at Starbucks at 10am…after your morning Pilates class? I don’t get the logistics. I also think that would be my dream life if I had enough money, but there seem to be way too many people like this. How does it add up? What are you sacrificing in other areas? I wish I knew. For now, I’ll have to put up with 4:30 am wake up calls where I have to choose between writing or working out because once 6am hits, life is resuming at a rapid speed and I won’t have time to do anything else until 8pm that night. And by that time I’m so exhausted I just pass out so that I can make my 4:30am wake up call the next day. More hours in a day. PLEASE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Okay, so I didn’t mean for this to turn into a really long post, but it did. And if you’re wondering how I was able to write this during peak toddler hours while the hubby is off to the Packers/Bears game? Well, I’m letting some pretty crazy stuff go down in my house right now. There are no less than 3 balls flying around my kitchen at any one time. Oh did I mention “terrible parenting” is also on the table? Well that was just assumed, I guess.
Anywho – I should get going so I can join in the craziness that is life, forever and always.
I’m on track, but half of the reason I wrote this post is because I was having a “woe is me” moment after seeing a LOT of other people flying through their word counts. Hitting the 50,000 word count is all I can focus on and that’s taking a LOT of energy that I currently do not have. Today I hit 15,000 words in nine days. Previously it took me 6 weeks to hit that count. This is hard!