***This is one of those posts that I’m writing because, frankly, I don’t know what to write. I need to write, but sometimes I have to just start. And stop trying to come up with a great first draft idea in my head.
When I go a long time without posting, sometimes I’m writing a lot of drafts, only to delete them. Other times, like recently, I’ve just felt like I had nothing to say. But I hate being stuck. And the only way out is to just write. That’s what this is. And it may not be profound or eloquent or anywhere near my best work, but it’s the closest thing to a revelation I’ve had in a long time. And I felt like it was as good a place to start as any.
I don’t have a lot of “quit” in me. I cling to bad habits like gold, and I am stubborn to a fault sometimes. Most times.
But this isn’t always a bad trait. In fact, I prefer to think of it as one of my strengths. I’d rather try and fail a thousand times than never try at all. I just don’t think life is meant to be lived with a fear of failure hanging over our heads.
I spent the entire day at work yesterday looking at a loan. My adding machine tape was several feet long by the time I locked up for the day, and I was no closer to the answer to the problem I was trying to diagnose.
My job, in a nutshell, is “problem-solver”. Usually that comes in the form of collecting on bad loans in whatever way is most beneficial to the bank. But, yesterday, I couldn’t break the surface of what was going on with this one account. The numbers just didn’t make sense and, in my job, the numbers always make sense. Even when it isn’t good news.
As I headed to my car at the end of the day, my head was spinning. I drove in silence, except for the occasional conversation with myself until, about halfway home, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I think I finally figured it out.
But had I stayed in my office the rest of the night, I doubt I’d have seen it until I stepped away.
I did step away a couple of times yesterday for brief breaks, but it wasn’t until I really separated myself from the problem that it began to show it’s truth to me.
And isn’t that the way sometimes?
So often, in life, we live amidst a cloud of circumstances and problems that threaten to steal our very sanity. But when we begin to relax, and focus our energy into something else, the answers will come.
Those answers may not be what we want, but at least they are answers. Something we can identify and then take measures to correct.
Last night, our best friends came over to play Rook. We’ve taken to gathering once a month to play cards, but I knew very little about the game when we first started.
Being me, after our first game, I vowed to learn more. Get better. So I downloaded a similar game on my phone, and began playing regularly to improve my skills.
Last month, I had a better grasp of the process, but still lost pretty miserably to the other team – very experienced players.
This month, I haven’t had a lot of time to practice on my app. So, when we gathered last night, I had a “just do the best you can” mentality. And my partner and I won 1 out of 3 games!
Again, a situation where I tried my damndest to think my way through something, only to find that it was in the relaxation that the answers came to me.
This isn’t a post to condone laziness or lack of action, reflection. It’s just a reminder to me about how often I try to control an outcome, expending energy to the point of mental strain, only to realize that most, if not all of it, was unnecessary.
I think, the payoff, is in those moments of realization. Maybe they mean more to me because I have spent so much time obsessing about the answers and what they might be. Maybe I would have more moments of clarity if I didn’t try so hard sometimes.
I just know this: just when I think I’m fully actualizing who I think I am, I learn something new about myself. Usually in a moment when I stop trying to figure me out.
Relaxation doesn’t come easily to me. Staying busy is my way of deflecting anxiety. It’s healthy sometimes, but not all the time. I’ve got to learn to balance my busyness with moments of not trying so hard. And let the answers and peace have an opportunity to show up. Because, more often than not, they will.