Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Be patient, or Just get on with it?

It's been a very, very long time since my life has resembled anything which I might consider 'normal'. And, of course, since 'normal' is such an elusive concept, I should probably think about how I define that. I think the way I define it is in terms of role models: 'normal' means that I can look to someone else's example and feel like their reality bears enough in common with mine, that I can learn from them. There are a great many people I admire in this world, for sure, but I don't see them as role models, because I feel like their world is too different from mine to bear any fair comparison. Is this wrong? Perhaps. But I can't help but feel that most of the advice I receive is based on assumptions thadon't apply to me. For example, most of the people I admire are married with children, and got married at a much younger age than I certainly will; so it feels like the wisdom they share from their experience of relationships or friendships is based on a reality which revolves a lot more around family than my life can. That's just an example, and perhaps it's a terrible useless cliché and I should think of a more valid example. Anyway, maybe I'm right and maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like that.

At the same time, I do know people whose life has a lot in common with mine, for sure! But I have a hard time respecting their decisions. Many of them have a fundamentally different set of values from me, and others seem to have become embittered in a way that I desperately try to avoid being (the jury's still out regarding my success in avoiding bitterness. but I want to try, anyway).

So all that is to say in a roundabout way, that I'm really struggling with how much of my life I shoul djust accept. And how much of it I need to resist. When I feel so tired, so emotionally worn-out, should I indulge that and rest up? Or should I struggle against it and just keep trudging forward? Since I've spent most of my life trudging, I'm inclined to err on the side of indulging now. But I really wish I had the answer. I really wish I had a good sense of whether I should watch a film while eating dinner, then do some light tidying up tonight. Or if I should try to reply to emails, find friends on skype and write an article? I don't know.And I don't know who can tell me.

So inevitably, I will likely spend the next five hours alternating between the two. Watch half a film with dinner. Then start some work but not finish. Then sit and stare at the wall while I listen to Christmas music. Then pull out the revision I'm working on and re-re-re-revise the first page while not sticking it out long enough to revise the subsequent 5 pages. Then watch 10 more minutes of the film before thinking I should check if so-and-so is online, then reply to some emails but not the important ones. And thus the evening will end. I'll get some stuff done. I'll feel a little rested. But would it not be better to choose a path and commit to it?

Is this procrastination? I don't think so, because I kind of think the resting option might be the right option. I've read books and I've sat through many sessions of receiving good advice, but none has yet felt like it matched the situation. I'm open to more advice but not sure if I'll feel I can follow it??


Stephanie said...

Scenario 1: I had a supervisor who did not have as much professional experience as one of my colleagues. In private conversations, this colleague minimized our supervisor, detailing his deficiencies and concluding that he would never be fully competent for his job. Our supervisor, however, had navigated the difficult waters of having buried a wife (extremely painful cancer death) and raised four children to mature and responsible adulthood. My colleague had a rocky marriage and troubled children.
Scenario 2: I have another colleague who accompanies her husband on his extensive work travels. She often does not know beforehand the people with whom she will meet. She has begun to journal her new encounters, asking herself the question " What can I learn from this new person in my life."
I believe most people believe their lives are peculiar and that no one else can really understand their troubles. But aren't we actually more similar than different? Unlike my proud colleague in Scenario 1, my colleague in Scenario 2 is happy and growing in her appreciation of others. That appreciation she feels comes out in positive, affirming ways. It is a delight to be with her.

Life's Trails said...

Kati, thanks for visiting my blog. You seem like a really cool chick. What an adventurer! Your words in this blog remind me of a phrase my brother told me about - "trudging the road of happy destiny". I keep it on a sticky note on my desk. Laters!

Jodi said...

I go through periods where I can lie in bed at night and plan all that I want to accomplish the next day. Then when it comes, I don't know how to start. I feel pulled in so many directions, and wind up not accomplishing much at all. It's a restlessness I hate. Fortunately it's not long lasting.

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