Stuck In A Rut
Guest post by Lori Chessell
Hey there! I’m back… again. I know I skipped my blog last month, and I missed my deadline for March (sorry Kelly!) but I have an excuse – and it’s not work for once! I managed to catch some sort of plague that put me down and out for several weeks… for real! I have been sick since before family day weekend. It’s well beyond the point of ridiculous that I still have a bit of a cough and sound congested a month after I experienced my first symptoms. I even went to the doctor – and you all know how much I love that – but I seriously had a plugged ear for more than 2 weeks. I was starting to become concerned that I had permanently damaged hearing! I’m happy to say, that is not the case and I am back to almost full audio function. It’s a good thing that the elderly lady that is my closest neighbour is also a little hard of hearing or she may have had a problem with how loud I have had the volume on my tv and radio!
So anyway, while I have been moping around in a haze of germs feeling sorry for myself, I started thinking about some of the decisions I make for my life every day. I have spent an inordinate amount of time on the couch due to illness – and I have basic cable… so that leaves lots of time to think about my life in general. I have discovered that I’m exceptional at thinking about doing things, but terrible at actually doing them.
I am in a rut. It happens to everyone, I know and I think anytime one is in a rut, he/she feels like it’s going to be impossible to get out of it. I have always kind of prided myself on being able to dig myself out of anything though. I’ve done it in the past, I’ll do it again I’m sure… but do you ever feel like there’s so much to do, that you don’t even know where to begin? That’s kind of where I’m at right now. Also, I’m kind of dreading starting anything because I know it’s going to be hard and it’s going to take some effort.
Do any of you know what I do when I’m dreading the idea of starting something? My university roommates sure do! The answer is that I do nothing… quite literally nothing. When I was in University and I needed to start studying or finish a paper, I would do absolutely anything other than what I should be doing. Clean my room, play free cell on my computer, watch a movie I’ve seen a million times….. it’s probably one of the few times I would voluntarily go to the gym for an aerobics class, or clean the bathroom, or do a counter full of dishes that were not mine. Finally, when it got to a point where it was study or fail miserably I could buckle down for a marathon study session. I would be like a study robot – completely focused and efficient. I have always thought that I do some of my best work under pressure because I never failed.
I can feel myself doing that now – trying to create that point where the pressure will be so great that I don’t have any choice but to get my life together. The problem is that I’m not in university anymore clearly which means that failure equates to something a heck of a lot more serious than a failing grade. I should be spending time searching for a new job, doing what I can to maintain my health – like getting enough sleep, making reasonably healthy meals, doing the odd workout. Instead, I find myself spending hours on the couch in front of the tv, thinking about doing all of those things, or not even thinking about it. Of course you all know that in and around all of the slothful time I spend doing nothing, I’m working quite a bit as well. Work is what I do to pay for my life… but it’s also a convenient excuse.
So anyway, this rut feels HUGE… which isn’t all that surprising, considering I am not only not actively doing anything to dig myself out of it, but in fact doing the exact opposite. Here’s the thing – I’m not a total idiot. I’m well aware of what choices are good for me vs not good for me. For example, I know that the better choice is to make myself grilled fish and a salad for dinner instead of grabbing a burger and fries on the way home. I know that it’s important to drink lots of water – yet every time I go to the fridge or the store I choose diet coke or pepsi. I know that I will feel and function better if I get 7-8 hours of sleep, yet I choose to read my book until the wee hours of the morning every day. I know that getting a new job is what I need in order to achieve a more reasonable work-life balance, yet I have not submitted my resume for anything since last summer. I know that I will feel healthier and more energized if I engage in some physical activity, yet I choose to sleep in or work late rather than doing any form of workout.
Clearly I am sabotaging myself, but why? The only person I’m hurting with all of these poor choices is me and the truth is that there is no good reason for it! I do not have real problems – aside from motivation obviously. If my own well-being and health isn’t motivation enough, what will be?
I don’t have all of the answers yet – but I will tell you that I did not enjoy a month of feeling sick… so maybe in an odd way, the plague I caught in February is going to end up being a good thing. Worry not friends and family, I’ll get myself sorted out eventually! On Thursday I bought a bottle of water at lunch in addition to my Diet Coke, on Friday I made a list of non-work items that I wanted to do and I finished them all, and today I made myself grilled salmon and sweet potato wedges for dinner and I wrote this blog.. so I’m taking some baby steps in the right direction and it already feels good. Don’t get me wrong, the rut is still really more of a super deep well with the top being a faint glimmer that I can barely see at this point… but I think this week anyway, I managed to not dig myself in any deeper and that feels like progress. Maybe now that I can hear AND sleep through an entire night without a coughing fit, I’ll start inching my way out of this. Time will tell!