I’ve mentioned it before, but if you’re a new reader or just forgot because of the long, long hiatus: during the last year, I was (and still am) part of an organization that went through a period of intense pressure with a hard deadline to work towards. It’s been an amazing learning experience, a period of intense adrenalin rushes, hard work, and the great feeling of giving everything you have to a cause that you believe in. During this time, I put a lot of my normal activities on hold, just because I was spending so much energy on work.
And then, once the deadline was up, the decisions were out of my hand, the intense phase of working towards a shared goal was over, I kind of expected to go back to being the person I was before. Look at all this free time I suddenly have! For example, I expected to go back to being a person who blogs because they enjoy reflecting their day to day experiences. But I didn’t. Instead, I noticed I was picking up new hobbies. I mean, I even started running – and I hate running. I also changed jobs within my organization, which is kind of like picking up a new hobby as well.
What I most certainly not do was pick up any of my previous activities successfully (I tried). Rock climbing, ballet, even reading – it just seemed daunting to go back. So I started new stuff. Which is great and all, but I also still kind of enjoy rock climbing and ballet does wonders for my posture, and also, who am I even if I am not reading?
So what happened? What on earth could compel me to pick running over rock climbing? If you’ve ever tried to pick up a favorite sport back up, you know what happened. I used to be good, and now I was not. My hobbies that I enjoyed before suddenly felt like another demand, another item on my to do list. I did not have the patience to build up skills that I used to have, that I was supposed to have. Starting something new allowed me to be more gentle with myself. Of course I suck at running, I have always sucked at running! No disappointments here.
Once I noticed this pattern, things got easier. Sometimes, reflection is half the battle. I didn’t plan on reading one of the books in my “must read”-pile anymore. Instead, I re-read a Terry Pratchett novel. I read a bunch of silly internet things. I started taking things easy for a while with my workouts as well (there’s this heatwave to consider anyway). I stopped striving for a while. Now, I think I am getting to the point where I can start again, and I am actually looking forward to it.
I mean, I am here, am I not?
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