Tuesday 15 January 2013

ups and downs

Somebody commented on a recent post of mine that they weren't too concerned about me and recent events  because they believed me to be 'happy'.  Which I was very grateful for because I do consider myself, generally speaking, to be a 'happy' person.  I tend to bounce back quite quickly, I tend to manage to claw my way out of bad patches, to find opportunity in even crappy situations, to notice beauty around me and blah blah blah. I repeat, 'tend to'.

It usually upsets me if somebody considers me to be a mope or a misery guts so I was pleased to be considered as 'happy'.

But that doesn't mean I don't also feel incredibly unhappy at times. And very often just at the moment. And very deeply.  It comes back to a post I wrote a few months ago about the difference between a permanent characteristic or trait, and a temporary state.

Perversely, part of being truly 'happy' is allowing yourself to fully feel all manner of emotions as opposed to trying to cover them up or smile through them. And that includes feeling sad and unhappy.

As it happens, being honest about how I'm feeling isn't one of my strong points, at least not consistently and is one of the things I've had to do most 'work' on (I really hate that phrase...see, good progress, honesty).

Anyway, the point is, life isn't a  bed of roses...whatever that means.  And happy person or not, I'm certainly encountering a lot of those thorns.  I think the emotion I'm feeling most, is exhausted.  It is exhausting just feeling so much, and then feeling nothing. My emotions have been so all over the shop, up and down and round and round so much recently that I'm surprised I don't also feel travel sick.

One minute I feel excited and upbeat and optimistic. I spot an opportunity, I go for it. I'm proactive, I'm full of ideas and dreams. The next minute I'm fed up because I haven't heard back from any of those opportunities (so impatient), the ideas I had before seem flat or stupid or I can't be bothered to now put them in place and who would care anyway even if I did.  I've always been cursed/blessed (take your pick) with an over active brain that won't stop churning out ideas. Which is great, but it does also mean that I can never possibly fulfil even a small percentage of those ideas, that I get a sort of choice paralysis over my own ideas trying to work out if any of them are actually any good or things that I actually want to do or not.  Maybe I should just put the spares on ebay or something.

Part of the problem is I don't really have a plan. Which is a bit daft considering most of my working life has been in roles involving the word 'planning'.  But to have a plan I need to have an end objective, I need to know where I'm aiming for and that's all still a bit fuzzy.

At the moment, I'm drifting through my days with no clear structure or direction.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not flaking about or lying on the sofa all day, far from it. Some days I'm on the internet for a good 14 hours solid researching and applying and writing and whatnot.  But until something starts to take shape I'm having to cast my net quite wide. I'm 'lighting lots of fires' (thank you Mark Earls for that lovely phrase) and seeing which ones burn brightest...or which ones bother to burn at all actually at the moment. And I'm finding it really rather uncomfortable, and all that flapping to get a spark to ignite is, as I said, exhausting.

I'm also not interacting with anybody really. Fine if that's not your bag, but it is mine. I like being around other people (to a point and with some exceptions!).

I'm not contributing to anything, I sort of don't really have a point right now.

I'm not 'creating' anything and that's really important to me too.

So I could randomly wander the streets trying to interact and start making papier mache decorations or something (actually been there done that, made a load of salt dough ones at Christmas) but I'm not sure that's going to quite cut it.

There are things I could do to help myself, though. I could set myself some routine. I could put some structure in my days and weeks. I could be making sure I'm moving around more and getting outside more.  I know all of these things would make me feel a lot better but knowing is not the same as actually doing.

I could also be making sure I factor in time for things I never had time to do before...like photography, swimming, walking, the online courses I signed up to etc. But I feel a bit guilty every second I'm not spending trying to sort my life out.

Or I could stop giving myself a hard time about having a plan or not and just accept that the way I'm doing or not doing things at the moment is the way I've chosen, for whatever reason, and just allow myself to feel whatever it is I'm feeling about it all.

Which right now is fed up and let down.  Yesterday it was buoyant. The night before it was distraught. The day before that  I just had a perfectly normal day and so on...

I suppose, at the end of the day, good old Ronan Keating was right.  Life is a rollercoaster: Just gotta ride it.

I'd better buck(le) up.

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