Thursday, April 07, 2016

Nine Things

So my friend John at Of Brambles and Bears is apparently my older twin sibling that I never met.  We seem to share a lot:  an interest in outdoors and gardening, the owning of allotments, the fact that we fight with depression ("The Black Dog" as John puts it), and that we both labor to stay sane in our current lines of work
We also share another characteristic:  We tend to over commit to what we want to do.

John wrote recently about about his own habit of taking on more than he could do or, as he put it, " take on a project, task, or the like when I already have one thousand and one things on the go. The usual result of this is for me to either not complete said projects, tasks, or ideas or to to finish some off but to a totally, for me, unsatisfactory level which then leads me to berating myself and becoming disillusioned with myself."

Hey, I thought, that sounds familiar.

All of a sudden my despondency makes a certain amount of sense to me.

I have the same pattern year after year:  I set goals in December and January and start making crazy amounts of progress towards them.  I am constantly busy working towards them, perhaps even achieving some of them.  And then suddenly, right around March or April, I lose all steam.  I have interest in completing none of them and precious months slip away while I sort of muddle myself into doing nothing at all.

So it got me to thinking:  what if I have the same problem that John so clearly enunciates, and if so, what can I do about it?

Giving things up is not so hard - after all, it is not giving things up so much as it is simply deferring certain things to another time.  That I can deal with.  The thing I am troubled with is the same thing John mentions, "berating myself and becoming disillusioned with myself."

So if I had to revise the list, what would it look like?

1)  God
2) Family
3)  Work (Sigh, but there it is)
4)  Throwing/Conditioning/Training (Lumped together because they are all involved).
5) Iai
6) Japanese (Need to get more vocabulary now that I have the certificate to match).
7)  Writing
8)  Ichiryo Gusoku (which could encompass gardening, cheese, quail, and some other secondary skills).

And that is without trying more than two minutes to think about things.

Am I okay with this?  If I just kept the eight things there (and gave myself the illusory 9th item for fun) that would certainly more than fill my life - and give me time to do things like read for leisure and not rush to do things.

But I have to, as John said, get past the barrier: that letting some things go for the short term does not mean I have failed in the long term.

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