Learning to float

Every day I learn more and more about myself. I analyze the events of my life and try to make sense of it. I try to see the patterns in the chaos. I choose the directions I want to go in. I do my best to blaze a trail that will lead to success, happiness, and wellbeing for those that are directly and indirectly linked to my work.

We all have responsibilities and burdens to bear in our lives. We carry on, we do the best that we can to resolve issues and problems that arise. We try to keep people around us happy, trying hard to keep our dreams moving forward. Where things get difficult to deal with is when we are bombarded every waking hour with the consequences of these responsibilities. Where every phone call, every email, and every discussion is laden with more choices and more paths into the unknown.

When you’re trying to blaze a trail, there will be many times in your life where you won’t hear much other than the negatives about what you’re doing, or not doing good enough, fast enough, or thorough enough. When things are working out well for those around you, they will tend to just be content and continue forward with their own plans utilizing your work to help them along. So mostly, when you hear about something, you’re going to hear what others perceive you are not doing right. You’re going to hear this from your family, from your friends, and in the business case, you’re going to hear this from your customers. The wider the trail you choose to cut in your life, the greater the opportunity for disappointment. You’re already pushing as hard as you can, sometimes too hard, and it’s not going to feel good enough.

This can be taxing. It saps your life force in ways that are difficult to describe. We’ve all felt it before. It is the origin of not wanting to get out of bed. It is the origin of feeling tired after you’ve gotten enough sleep. It is the origin of avoiding people you love. We deal with this in different ways, some better than others. Some of us deal with it by not dealing with it and just pressing on, ignoring the feeling and moving forward until suddenly we just cant anymore. Burn out.

But burning out is not an answer. It will do more harm than good. You pushed on until you couldn’t anymore and now it will take you twice as long to recover. You will do twice as much damage to your personal relationships and your own wellbeing. You need to learn a better way to deal with this before it gets out of hand.

I spoke to a friend of mine about this recently, and she eloquently termed properly dealing with these constant bombardments as “learning to float”. The bombardments are like quick sand. They will never stop. They do not always contain problems in them that can be solved, maybe none can be solved immediately, and not always problems that you can solve alone. The more you fight against it, the further you sink until they feel like they’re burying you. The only thing you can do is give yourself some time to float. Disconnect for a while. Break away from the bombardment long enough to reconnect with life and to realize you are a very small piece in a large and ever changing puzzle.

This is a lesson I am trying hard to learn, to take these small chunks of time that I need between the dawn and the dusk and brush off the day that I may analyze everything from a clear perspective, unburdened by baggage. I will learn to do this in the same way I learned all about letting go of fear, but hopefully not in such a drastic way…  That’s another story for another time.

Peace and happiness to you all. Let’s learn to float down the river together.

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