Thursday, July 19, 2012

Recovering from life-induced whiplash

So, my last post was March 28. It is now July 19. A friend of mine sent me a message the other day asking me what had happened to my blog. I thought to myself, yeah, it has been a while. Probably over a month. Turns out, it’s been almost 4.

I know we’ve all said it: “time is flying by”… “how is it [insert month] already??”... “there aren’t enough hours in the day”. I know I have these thoughts at least a few times every year. But this time, the where-has-the-time-gone thought really rattled me. I made a commitment to write this year, and I completely abandoned it for 4 months. That’s a third of the time commitment. Not a single word written.

How did this happen?

I went back to my last post to see if it offered a clue – and it did. I was talking about time traveling. How easy it is to spend time re-living (or re-hashing) the past or thinking (worrying) about the future. How easy it can be to miss the moment – right here, right now – by spending too much time traveling to the past or the future.

At the end of the post, I made a commitment to spend more time in the now. And, have I ever. The last 4 months, I’ve had a blast celebrating with friends – weddings, babies, reunions. I’ve travelled - for work, for fun. I’ve loved every minute. But, in those same 4 months, I’ve abandoned my workouts, my writing, and my savings goals (turns out, living in the now costs a little more than I thought. I can always get back on track saving for emergencies and retirement next year, right?).

I miss the sense of security and fulfilment I got from those more planned, routine, activities. Turns out, reflecting on the past really helped my writing. And planning for the future really helped my bank account. But, I also feel completely energized by living much more in the moment, seizing opportunities when I can.

The issue, I think, is emotional whiplash. Going from one extreme to the other.

They strike all of us at some point – events that jolt us from one way of operating to another. It could a new job; a new baby; a wedding; buying a house; getting laid off work; a break up; a marriage. Suddenly we’re forced to abandon our usual way of doing things and adapt, virtually overnight. Maybe you’ll love it, maybe you’ll hate it, or maybe you’ll just accept it. Regardless, that event thrusts you somewhere new – and life as you know it is suddenly very different. Emotional whiplash.

The suddenness of the event then passes – and there you are: remembering your old routines, and living with your new ones. And, at least from what I’ve experienced myself, or witnessed in others, the whiplash can leave you feeling any number of ways.

I guess recovery from whiplash involves finding some balance. So that’s what I’m going to do – reflect on the best of the old routine and the best of the new one and, hopefully, land with the best of the best.

So…have you been whiplashed lately?

No comments:

Post a Comment